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"Stay Away From the Polls---You'll Be Sorry"
The Crimson White
April 20, 1945

Only 700 students voted in last year's SGA elections. The enrollment was then about 2200.

That gets worse the longer you think about it.

This year there is up for approval an amendment to the constitution providing for the the re-activization of the Cotillion club.

This amendment is the result of much work on the part of the Student Senate and the Administration. It is a compromise measure arrived at after many hours of discussion, consultation and recommending.

The present administration refused to tolerate the old system where at least a few students [] exorbitant profits from dances. Students felt that the new system was irksome and repressive to initiative because profits were limited to $7.50

So, the compromise system whereby not-so-limited profits can be amassed was finally worked out.

Now all the work and the time and the sweat that the people spent in drawing up these plans for the compromise system will be to no avail if the student body fails to vote in the election.

Twice the Board of Publications has tried to get the constitution amended for the benefit of the Rammer Jammer and twice it failed to pass--simply because too few students voted in the student government elections.

This Cotillion club amendment may fail--for the same reason…if not enough students vote in the election Tuesday.

For years, students have had a most disdainful attitude toward Student government offices.

"SGA never does anything anyway," they say. "They're just a bunch of figure heads."

When less than one-third of the student body votes in a general election--that student body has no right to complain of any officers elected or anything that those officers do.

It is true that SGA executive councils have been singularly noted for a lack of efficient action on many student problems--this was not the fault of the people who held the presidency of the Student Government Association but fault of the whole student body.

Nobody believed in it--nobody thought that SGA could do anything.

It is that same "don't give a damn" attitude that has permeated the student body of the University of Alabama for years.

That attitude is the reason why we have no school spirit. That attitude is the reason the honor system won't work. That attitude is responsible for the truth of the charge that we have no initiative.

At this point it is like whispering into an empty cavern to urge each student to vote.

There are facing the student body a thousand problems. Something must be done about a recreational program, the honor system, student participation and stands on various academic questions. It is the time for a vigorous and active Student Government council.

…But more than that it is time for a vigorous and informed student body.

For the first time--as far as we know--the candidates for SGA president have stated their aims and their goals. This indicates that there are progressive and thoughtful candidates for the presidency.

But that is not enough. The entire student body must consider this election carefully, must do more than be mere spectators.

If only 700 people vote in this election as they did last year--the Cotillion club amendment will fail to pass. Not only that the student body will have demonstrated once more that it does not matter to them who their student leaders are.

"What does it matter," they say, "it's all machine politics."

It is not all machine politics. But if two-thirds of the student body do not vote, it might as well be.

The machine should be commended for at least putting up candidates and seeing that their people vote. That is probably more than any other group will do. For that they should be commended.

Tuesday is a day of judgment--judgment of the student body. If they are content with the lethargic state of affairs of the last few years--they will stay away from the polls.

If they are behind the members of the Student Senate, if they are at all interested in an intelligent, responsible student government association, they will demonstrate it by going to the game room and voting.