The Student Government Association passed a resolution Tuesday to allow its members to spend more money when campaigning for officer positions.Candidates are now allowed to spend up to $500 on their campaigns. Last year, the limit was $200.
The money candidates put toward campaigning comes directly from the candidates – or candidates’ parents’ – pockets, not SGA funds.
Although the raised limit seemingly allows for more freedom for advertising in SGA campaigns, it also shuts out those potential candidates with less money.
At a private, fairly-expensive university like TCU, there are students from a wide array of social classes and financial backgrounds. Some are here completely on scholarship and must save every last penny they earn at their on-campus jobs. Others have the freedom to put every purchase on send-home or a parents’ credit card and have no monetary worries whatsoever.
The increased limit candidates can spend on their SGA campaigns draws a line between those students who have money and those who don’t.
An unfair advantage is given to those whose parents can freely drop $500 on their students’ campaign.
SGA candidates should refrain from raising campaign funding limits and encourage its candidates to find free ways to gain votes around campus.
Potential officers can talk to students in the Student Center or on campus crosswalks for free. They can also put ads in TCU Announce at no cost.
The lack of funds could also force students to learn more about campaigning. They would have to get out, meet students and get creative with their campaign tactics.
Instead of drawing a line between the candidates with monetary limits, SGA should push for more creativity in campaigning and encourage free ways of reaching voters.
Managing editor Aly Fleet for the editorial board.