WESTWOOD—Members of student government announced today the cancellation of all elections planned for this week after campaign interest levels hit a record low. According to polls conducted on Bruinwalk, less than 3% of students said they would vote this year, compared to 36% last year. Of that 3%, less than 1% said that their vote would be for a candidate that could be described as a “human” or “in possession of a human-level intelligence”. A minimum of 15% of the student body is required for the elections to be valid.
While the cancellation remains a shock for most, USAC election commissioners admit that the decision was not unexpected. Said former Internal Vice Presidential candidate Mario Schwartz: “Our first real warning sign happened last Saturday when exactly zero of the expected 450-odd students showed up to the debate. Only a third of the candidates, including myself, actually bothered to go through with it.“ The merits of scooter lanes and decreasing the traffic on the 405 were among the most hotly-debated topics.
In hopes of boosting interest, desperate slates have resorted to flyering and posting advertisements in the grass next to Bruinwalk. As postponing the elections looks increasingly less likely however, some are now considering selling these ads to corporate sponsors.
“Under-representation of minorities and ineffectiveness of the IGNITE campaign were big issues for me, now I’m just like ‘why bother?’” said Angela Menendez, formerly a candidate for general representative. “There’s only one position I can get behind now, and that’s that Rubio’s makes some delicious tacos, and for super cheap too. Hopefully they can put our boards to better use.”
Though cancellation remains inevitable, efforts have been made to revise the election process in hopes of attracting more voters. A “vote twice if you were born in June” reform has been proposed, specifically targeting the demographic of students born between the months of May and July. Others have proposed a new “vote for free” campaign, in which the $40 fee automatically charged to a student’s bruinbill account every time they vote is waived. Candidates have pointed to an increasing awareness of this fee as being particularly responsible for the dampened enthusiasm.
“Think of it this way: if I told you that there was a magic button and that anytime you hit that button you won a million dollars but you’d have to pay a $40 fee, no one would hit that button,” said former External Vice Presidential candidate Michael Takahashi. “It’s simple logic. Vote for me and I’ll remove that fee.”
It remains to be seen whether current USAC members will continue in their positions next year or the entire council will be dissolved. Regardless of the outcome, there is one mentality that everyone does seem to agree on: “nobody cares”. ❖