Do you want buck-toothed, redneck yokels running your Students’ Union? Then run in the SU general election, for damnation’s sake!
We are convinced this SU advertising campaign is why so many unqualified candidates chose to run for the SU this year. Current SU executives and commissioners dressed up like hayseed-chewing idiots could only give the student body one impression: the SU is full of morons. We’ve seen bad election advertising in the past, but this takes the booby prize for worst gimmick gone horribly wrong.
The eight-person presidential "race" is a good example of the result of this type of advertising. How do you get seven out of eight candidates with little to no experience whatsoever with student government? Simple–you make it appear as though the average IQ of an elected student representative is about 69, then invite others to step up to the plate and take over a $5 million a year organization. Any university student with half a brain is more intelligent than Jed or Mary-Lou, so it’s no wonder all these eager-eyed do-gooders with no idea of the job requirements crawled out of the woodwork of various faculties and decided to run for president .
The student body accuses the Gauntlet of basically putting a gun to voters’ heads by telling them who to vote for (see last week’s cover for more details on this process), but if the SU can’t advertise properly, somebody damn well better do it. Otherwise, sooner or later, we will end up with Jed, Mary-Lou, Billy-Bob, Stacey-Sue and Wilbur on the executive, planning hayrides and corn-boils instead of fighting tuition. There will be chickens in the food court and rifles at the front desk of the SU office.
A serious job requires a serious campaign. The SU is not inviting kids to summer camp for Pete’s sake.
Of course, advertising hasn’t been the SU’s strong point this year. Anyone remember when the BoG meeting was supposed to be held? Yeah, didn’t think so. This type of campaign really hurts people. What about all the Sammy-Jo’s and John-Boy’s whose likenesses have been stolen and turned into a twisted, stereotyped ad campaign about stupidity? The hardworking, so-called "rednecks" of the world are just like the rest of us: they’re trying to eke out an existence in an otherwise cruel world. So what if they’re not as politically correct as a university student? So what if they forget to wear shirts under their overalls?
Poor, stereotyped rednecks aren’t the only ones hurt by this kind of advertising; students are as well. Do you want to understand the seriousness of particular issues that affect you? Or do you want your money pissed away on candidates who think the best election promise is to put up electronic parking billboards at every entrance to the university? Or how about candidates whose platform consists of only one issue? Overall, though, partial blame must also go to this year’s SU representatives, who clearly did not communicate the importance of their jobs to the student population.