Keep SU accountable, pay attention to upcoming elections

With the release of the People’s History of Washington University series “Citizen Se7en: Examining Secret Societies at WashU” earlier this week, campus has been buzzing with conspiracy theories and claims of institutional favoritism. On social media and in conversations, there has been a fair amount of anger directed toward the perceived lack of accountability and transparency inherent in such a secret society. Yet at this point, all of this is speculation.

In the same timeframe, Student Union has seen multiple elected officials resign with little transparency as to why or to what effect. Where the first four resignations stemmed from an inability to continue to perform official duties, the most recent failures within SU stem from inappropriate conduct undertaken by SU senators and class council members. SU officials have failed to fulfill their obligation of accountability to the student body through their conduct and their work ethic. But no one has posted in outrage on social media. No conversations are calling for change.

With SU elections occurring next week, our editorial board encourages the student body to advocate for accountability and transparency in the highly visible organization that we know for certain affects our day-to-day lives. Electing officers that are not only competent but motivated and cognizant of the campus climate is critical. As an organization that manages a budget of nearly $4 million, SU must be treated with the same degree of scrutiny that we give to conspiracy theories.

Our editorial board encourages the student body not only to vote, but also to carefully read the platforms of the candidates. To put in the due diligence past checking the boxes next to your friends’ names. To ensure that our student government doesn’t descend into the same unchecked institutional favoritism that we are currently so up in arms about.

Even beyond that, our editorial board hopes that students who are upset with how Washington University is run, who are upset with the inner machinations they have no access to, who want change, will run. Put your ideas on the ballot and then use the power and the leverage that SU affords to enact them. If your only idea is to expose secret societies, then lead that charge and you may even win a decent proportion of the vote.

Regardless, our editorial board feels that, at the moment, the upcoming SU elections are far more relevant to this campus than any rumblings about secret societies. Next week, listen closely to the debates, read the candidates’ platforms and vote to hold our student government accountable for their actions. Just because all of their transgressions happen above ground doesn’t make them any less concerning.

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