Remember, elections produce consequences
While voting in Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) elections, we should remember that these elections actually do have consequences. Last year, we elected to nearly every RUSA seat a surrogate of the political machine Rutgers United. What did we get?
We got a student government without a single major accomplishment to its name. The accomplishments we did get were the result of spending student-fee money, not lobbying and persuading the University administration. Rather than building on the success of last year's highly successful "What's on Your Mind Month," Rutgers United shrank the program to a week and collected perfunctory data on student grievances, which did not produce systemic responses like in previous years.
Rather than using student-fee money to enrich campus life, RUSA voted to give your student-fee money to the United States Student Association, a national association that would have absolutely no benefit to University students. Rutgers United also used RUSA to spend student fee money to fund Tent State University — the tents that are currently littering Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus.
Instead of organizing students to effectively lobby Trenton for more state funding, members of Rutgers United worked with staff unions to organize a protest on the University campus, and state legislators took little notice.
Rutgers United has focused almost entirely on its own limited set of interests. When I brought a concern to RUSA, one of the Rutgers United leaders referred me to the University administration.
Members of Rutgers United made it very clear that they were not interested in hearing my concerns. Rutgers United should probably be renamed "Rutgers Divided."
Make sure to vote in the RUSA elections this year, and be sure to not vote for Rutgers United.
Eric Kaplan is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in political science with a minor in general history.
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