Come on Mercerians, it's about time to answer the call to office

With a bewildered sense of irritation, I look across the fore of who is running for office on the Student Government Association (SGA) and the field is stunning.  Both the Senator-at-Large and Junior Senator positions only have enough candidates to actually fill the seats.
Surely the lure of political office and responsibility calls more of our Mercerians to serve than this?  SGA provides multiple opportunities for students to add to their experience at college while providing a position of stature among peers.
As I gaze out into the spectrum of undergraduates at Mercer, I wonder if Mercer is cultivating a student body of apathetic followers, clueless complainers, or ill-informed children?
Mercer deserves better than this.  SGA is responsible for a budget that consists of an amount exceeding one hundred fifty thousand dollars to allocate for student activity among student organizations.
That means everything from Pilgrimage to Penfield to the small social gatherings put on by organizations like the Mercer International Affairs Organization are overseen and funded by SGA.  Yet such responsibility bestowed upon those who benefit from the same responsibility appear reluctant to take up the mantle.
To give specificity to the situation, I know most, if not all, of the candidates running this year.
While I applaud those who are running as they, at least, demonstrate the courage to put their name in public view and invite criticism.  I must say that some of the candidates who are running lack the competency to give an oral presentation in a one hundred level general education class; it is even more frightening that these same candidates will automatically have the platform to speak whatever is on their mind in front of the Dean of Students and the rest of the student body.  These ill-fitted candidates will represent Mercer and will do so because they will have had no democratic process to vet them.
The Senator-at-Large field should disappoint even the casual Mercer student.  While I appreciate the dedication of Senators Melissa Thompson and Eric Ennuson, the rest of the field deserves no seat as they will most likely become a burden upon the legislative process and potentially embarrass the student body.
Senator Hudgins undeniably ran for the Senator-at-large position only as a political move because he knows he could not compete in the sophomore class.
In fact, last year he ranked as the bottom vote receiver in his class.  Now, he will represent the student body without a vetting system.  Of all the freshmen senators, his performance was near the bottom.  Current Senator Hendricks won election under the junior senator banner in a special election because three senators left office.  She, for the same political reasons as Senator Hudgins, will also run with no vetting system because of such a small field of candidates.
Lastly, Javon Denson is running again for a senator-at-large senate seat.
After watching all of the YouTube videos and interviews he has posted on the Internet, I can only decipher one constant theme…he has no clue what he is talking about.  The nonsensical statements that he is spewing about why students should select him as their representative on SGA mirrors the same thought patterns he expresses in his academic classes…statements that mirror utter confusion and jumbled up television catchphrases that one hears and attempts to rearticulate to appear intelligent.  These premises are irrelevant, however, because he will not be properly vetted by a democratic system.
Then again, maybe I have this all wrong.  Last year Freshman Senator Akeme Ubom was elected not only a Freshman Senator, but he received the most votes from his class to make him the Freshman Class President.
While Senator Ubom is assuredly a nice person, he has been more disruptive to the democratic process while contributing little if anything to SGA.  Almost every senate I would cringe when he would begin to speak as seemingly nothing remotely digestible would exist in his statements.
His demeanor and decorum was even less appreciable as he would often completely disregard the rules in which SGA governs itself.  SGA is a serious body and it requires serious students to participate within it.
I chuck these sorts of mishaps up to the fact that freshmen are at the greatest disadvantage when it comes to electing their representatives.  Freshmen elect their classmate with only a month to meet many of them and then a week to decide which stranger is best.  That election usually boils down to which candidates shook the most hands and gave out the best candy.
With all this loom and gloom for next year, great certainty appears that all of the students at Mercer will be encouraged to vote.  The lack of student voter turnout may have little to do with the amount of time to vote or election place.
Pretty much any student can vote if they have access to a computer (All Mercer students have access to computers in the library), and now students will have an entire week to vote.  Students at Mercer do not vote because there is nothing to encourage them to vote.

Comments, questions or concerns about this opinion can be sent to [email protected]