Let’s Blame the Wildcat for Low ASUA Voter Turnout

Political Science senior, Erin Sperling wrote a short-sighted letter to the editor in today’s issue of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. “Why don’t we care more [about student elections]?” she asked. Instead of facing the reality that more than half of UA students don’t read newspapers or even know President Barack Obama’s political affiliation, she blamed the most powerful UA news source.

I think a large part of the problem is lack of action by the Daily Wildcat in covering the campaigns, and here the irony of Wednesday’s editorial becomes particularly acute.

So essentially, the Wildcat is responsible for giving ASUA undeserved advertisement? In other words, it’s the college newspaper’s job to spread ASUA knowledge and not the organization’s? Sperling would have been wise to do her research and see that ASUA is “the least transparent and least representative student government in the Pac-10,” according to the Arizona DesertLamp.

The Wildcat covered the elections quite well, but the writers are not responsible for the ASUA voter turnout. Is Sperling suggesting we blindly praise ASUA? Why is this person even complaining when ASUA received the second highest number of ballots in recorded history?

My question is, if you feel in the moral position to criticize campaign strategies, why were your endorsements printed before actual interviews – before the candidates could honestly present their platforms to a majority of the student body?

Wouldn’t it be nice if all 24 candidates could “honestly present their platforms to a majority of the student body”? I’d love to hear Sperling’s plans to make this possible. It was daunting enough to gather all 24 candidates for interviews in a two-day time period. UA students do not have time to listen to absolutely every competitor speak for an extended amount of time. As a Wildcat writer, I had this privilege, and my three co-columnists and I know that most people can’t sit around and listen to candidates all day, so we did it for everyone and shared our opinion.

Why not at least post your endorsements the day before elections, allowing the opportunity for dissenting opinions before the election begins?

Okay, so now we’re supposed to worry about giving people enough time to make their own decisions based off our views? As if students really spend that much time studying the Wildcat endorsements. If someone really puts that much thought into our candidate preferences, he probably has the time to research all the candidates on his own, anyway.

What would be the point of publishing our endorsements a day before elections? That wouldn’t do justice to our endorsed candidates. We run the article on election day in support of our selected candidates, so we would be wasting everyone’s time to publish an important editorial too early in time.

At the end of the day, Sperling has to realize that she was reading the Opinions page. If the newspaper wanted to run profiles of every single candidate, they’d do so outside the Opinions section because there is no opinion in relaying all the facts. If she is so eager to learn about her candidates, she can go to the ASUA webpage herself. We have every right to publish our take on the candidates’ qualifications, and she cannot possibly blame the Wildcat for student apathy.

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