This year’s Student Government Association election season has shed light on a valuable lesson.
Sophomore Justin LaPoten was removed from the vice presidential candidacy Monday because of excessive absences in House of Representatives and committee meetings.
This happened after weeks of campaigning, which can cost hundreds of dollars out of the candidates’ pockets. Basically, it was too late.
Speaker of the House Haley Murphy reviews attendance reports every two weeks; the latest review before LaPoten was pulled from the ballot took place Oct. 20, when he received a warning for his absences in early October. He filed for candidacy on Oct. 27, and another attendance review was due a week after that, Nov. 3, but someone dropped the ball. Thus, action wasn’t taken until Monday.
There were many moving parts in this fiasco. There was negligence as well as systematic flaws. It would be foolish to dwell on the details of what went wrong, but the ultimate result was that the candidate’s money and time were wasted.
Murphy did the right thing by removing the candidate, but it could have saved the candidate and SGA some trouble by acting faster.
Moral of the story: In future elections, SGA should make it a part of protocol to check the record of those filing for candidacy for any details that might make them ineligible to run.. If the candidates the student body elects are going to lead this university well, SGA must ensure that candidates have proved themselves worthy of consideration for its highest offices. Anything less would be a failure to the students it pledges to serve.
Web editor Saerom Yoo for the editorial board.