06 March 2008

BYUSA Election Part II

After last week's post about BYUSA, we've re-thought a few things. Sure, it's a popularity contest. There's no denying that the promises made by the candidates are ridiculous. And there is really no excuse for simple spelling errors and poor grammar. But maybe we were a little too hard on BYUSA and the candidates.

As we walked through the Wilkinson Center earlier this week, we narrowly avoided being accosted by some of the BYUSA candidates. Our brother, who walks the gauntlet every day, said that feigning an animated conversation with no one on his cell phone is the only thing that saves him. Rather than being annoyed, we were sympathetic.

BYUSA isn't a representative student organization. Unlike other universities, it is very distinctly, a "student service" organization. And in that sense, they are successful. If there's any representation going on, it's only to appear at devotionals and other student events. It's not as though they are making or even advising on University policy. Things have changed since Jody's grandfather served as BYU student body president.

And we suppose that much of this was born of necessity, or at least, expediency. The university is focused on service--enter to learn, go forth to serve--and would like to avoid the confrontational relationship that exists between students and student government organizations at other universities. None of this is to argue the point one way or the other.

Anti-establishmentarians and contrarians will obviously be and are up-in-arms about this relationship. But we guess we don't care all that much. When we had problems with the university, we've voiced those concerns on this blog and in letters to the editor of the Daily Universe. Even if the BYUSA President could do something to affect University policy, we doubt they would.

However, there is one role for leadership and student representation that the BYUSA President could fill--with the Provo parking kerfuffle. We first wrote about it here. A BYUSA President could represent student interests in negotiation with the Provo City Council. Part of the problem is that there is not a coherent student message. Lots of students have opinions, but there is no organization of thought or policy. The next BYUSA President could bring leadership and legitimacy to any future discussions with the Provo City Council.

***

Since we're following this election so you don't have to, we figured we'd post a few of the things we found about the election on the interweb. Enjoy.

Summer Price, current BYUSA Prez argues in favor of, well, voting in the BYUSA election.
Caitlin "hates" the BYUSA election.
Rie is disappointed he/she didn't get a free t-shirt for voting.
Justin Hileman wants to know what you think about the election.
Cory thinks BYUSA should do something to affect American domestic and foreign policy.
Commodore can't stand the apathy surrounding any election.
Alan doesn't care to help someone add to their grad school resume.
Aric Johnstone thinks BYUSA has an "important and misunderstood responsibility" at BYU.

And finally, the very latest on the election:

BYUSA Elections Draw one Step Closer
(because they're down to two sets of candidates)


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1 comment:

buruboi said...

Nice Post. BYUSA bores down to little more than a party organizer. Obviously, for any student who feels that the administration is out of touch with the needs of the student body, BYUSA's inability and disinterest in representing those needs can be frustrating ESPECIALLY when harassed to vote for a campaign that will allegedly make a difference.

Resolving the parking conflict would be ideal, but lets be realistic. The administration has a comfy relationship with Provo City Council. Why risk it by letting BYUSA off the leash?

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