Editorial: An election worth voting for

An+illustration+of+apathetic+students+on+their+phones+near+a+voting+box+for+SGA

Illustration by Mckenna Greenleaf Faulk.

Jc Canicosa

For the first time in a long time, Loyola’s student body is getting the passionate representation it deserves.

And that means you now have the responsibility of matching that passion and turning out to vote in the 2020 SGA election.

That’s because last year, in a sad showing of school pride, only one ticket ran unopposed for the positions of SGA president and vice president. And while current SGA President Jessamyn Reichmann and Vice President Freedom Richardson should be commended for reinvigorating interest in student government, last year’s “race” didn’t give students a real opportunity to make educated choices.

But now, three different tickets with three different visions for Loyola’s future are running for those positions — and the student body should be thrilled by the political race that is currently in motion.

The good news is this: There isn’t a bad choice.

Of the three tickets The Maroon spoke with — Sanchez and Bashi, McCrory and Owens, and Richardson and City — we believe all are qualified, passionate representatives of the Loyola student body who are ready and eager to serve.

This new diversity in our current pool of SGA presidential candidates reflects a noticeable increase in something that the institution has long been lacking: passion.

But the bad news is unsettling, to say the least. Last year, only 7% of the student body voted in the SGA election, according to Reichmann. (Granted, there was only one ticket running and most of the senate races were noncompetitive). Still, 7% is abysmal for a school filled with the impassioned, socially-minded students Loyola is known for.

We have a second chance this year. We have to do our job and turn out. Get informed and learn about each ticket’s platform for the sake of Loyola’s future. Make sure your voice is heard as we decide who our next president and vice president will be. Not only do the six qualified candidates deserve your informed vote, but future Loyola students deserve it as well.

Because this vote could determine whether or not we have a student representative sit amongst the board of trustees. This vote could determine whether or not organizations have to jump through fewer hoops in order to receive allocations for their programs. This vote could determine what the future of Loyola looks like for everyone.

The Maroon has an extensive history of criticizing SGA for its representatives’ complacency and ambivalence. Their job is to speak for the student body and represent its needs and interests, which has been especially important during this time of administrative change and our transition out of financial probation. And for a long time, it felt like SGA representatives weren’t always giving that job the respect it deserved.

Now, after The Maroon has spoken to each presidential ticket about their platforms and vision for Loyola’s future, we feel confident that those concerns about SGA’s complacency and ambivalence are fears of the past.

Our confidence comes from how Tyler Sanchez and Sabah Bashi describe their plan to make it easier for organizations to collect allocations for their organizations and make sure clubs truly feel like they are being represented by their senators.

It comes from Emily McCory’s and Myles Owens’ passion for beautifying the campus and boosting school spirit to make the university one all students will be proud of.

And it comes from Freedom Richardson and Zontré City promising their experience and knowledge of the job.

What we’ve seen from speaking to each of these tickets is that SGA is actually starting to feel like a student government now. Just like real politicians, they had disagreements about finances and organizational structure — disagreements that ranged from minute details such as how to best fund picnic tables in the Residential Quad to more important decisions such as whether or not a student representative should sit on the board of trustees.

And this lively political debate is a great thing. It means that we have student leaders who care enough to disagree about how the student body should best be represented.

These candidates are fighting for our vote like real politicians, so we owe it to them to get informed and go vote like a real election.

We have to understand that Loyola’s future is in our hands, because these candidates certainly do.