The editorial board of The Northerner decided earlier this semester to endorse a presidential and vice presidential candidate in the Student Government Association election. After extensive research and discussion, the board decided to support both Eric Fegan and Andy Hixson equally for SGA president.
The board researched and discussed the merits of each candidate and their platforms. Members then voted via secret ballot for the ticket they felt could best represent the interests of the students. Five members voted to endorse the Fegan/Pollitt ticket. Five members also voted to endorse the Hixson/Iker ticket. Three members abstained from voting.
It is the decision of the editorial board that each of the tickets is equally qualified to represent the student body as leaders of SGA next year, although each ticket has serious flaws that also cannot be overlooked. We would like to present our arguments in favor of each candidate and allow the student body to draw its own conclusions when voting in the April 14 and 15 SGA elections.
We feel that Eric Fegan and James Pollitt have more than adequate experience as SGA administrators and would be effective in lobbying university administrators to consider student concerns. The candidates have taken a professional approach to the campaign, which demonstrates the seriousness with which they take the responsibility of student government. Its wet campus reform initiative could be a good source of revenue for the university. This ticket seems organized and diversified in reality, not just ideals.
We also feel, however, that the Fegan/Pollitt team does not seem as student-oriented as it could. Its platform seems overloaded, as if it focuses more on initiatives than student concerns.
We feel that Andy Hixson and Jeff Iker’s goals are realistic and attainable, and we support their promise to increase communication between SGA and students. We feel they would bring fresh faces and ideas to SGA. Their promise to place more textbooks on reserve in Steely Library and to implement online professor evaluations would increase the value of education for students. Hixson also demonstrated a great deal of character by standing up for his beliefs even when they contradicted the popular opinion in SGA, and we believe he has the moral character necessary for the job of SGA president.
It is our opinion, however, that it could be dangerous to have two fraternity brothers and close friends in the most powerful offices in student government. We also have serious concerns about the candidates’ lack of previous administrative experience.
Board members who abstained from voting said they did not feel strongly about either ticket and did not feel comfortable with the idea of potentially influencing students’ opinions.
All board members feel that students should know the facts of the candidates and the issues, and also the board’s opinion of the candidates, and then draw their own conclusions when voting next week.