"Senate machinations (Editorial)"
Lance McKerley, Ed Howard, Mark Hughes Cobb
The Crimson White
March 07, 1984

Once again, the Machine, a secretive campus political organization, is attempting to tighten its already overpowering grasp on the Student Government Association. Through the machinations of three new bills that will come to a vote Thursday, the senate is attempting to strangle what little representation the independents of this campus have.

The first bill would divide the multi-seat senate races into individual races. This would, in effect, create 14 individual races for each off-campus seat. Machine politicos would no longer have to vie against one another for a block of seats.

The same proposed measure would limit write-in candidates by requiring them to register with the elections chairman. This flies in the face of the concept of the write-in vote.

A SECOND measure seeks to eliminate graduate school senate seats. Graduate students would be represented instead by the school in which they are studying.

Although the given reason for this move is apathy among graduate school voters, the authors of this bill doubtlessly are aware that the graduate school seats long have been a stronghold for independents.

If all low voter turnouts resulted in the elimination of seats, soon we would be completely without a senate.

The third bill seeks to limit the distribution of literature on campaign day. Although the elimination of leaflets and handouts seems, on the surface, a good idea, this bill also would negatively affect publications such as the Alabama Chronicle, which had a decided effect on John Bolus’ ascension to the presidency. The Chronicle’s views were strongly antiMachine.

ALTHOUGH The Crimson White long ago ceased to be amazed by any action of the Machine, we cannot let these most recent maneuvers pass without attempting to throw up a few roadblocks.

The students of this campus demonstrated their disgust with the Machine a little more than a year ago by electing John Bolus, an independent candidate, to the office of SGA president. The voter turnout that year was one of the largest ever.

Find out who your senator is, and more important, let him or her know who you are and how you feel. Get off the collective apathetic behind and make a difference.

Your voice can make a difference. Do not wait another four years to demonstrate your beliefs. If you do not do it, the Machine will do it for you.