Cornell Student Assembly Relevance Sinks to New Low: 13 out of 22 Spring Election Races are Uncontested

Call it a coronation, not an election.

With 22 positions on Cornell’s Student Assembly (SA) up for election as voting begins today and ends tomorrow, a whopping 13 will be awarded in uncontested races.

In terms of SA relevance to students, this just might be an all-time low.

And, despite all the student clamor and grandstanding about Cornell’s “failure of shared governance” (the interaction between student/faculty/employee assemblies and the administration), students are apparently extremely apathetic when it comes to actually attempting to fulfill a role within the shared governance system.

As usual, categorize that under the “all talk, no action” motif of Cornell student activism/whining.

“At the point in which there are 13 uncontested races and 2 vacant seats (left without anyone running to fill them) it is no longer that the administration has has failed at shared governance, it is that the student body has too. The ball is now in our court,” said Robert Dunbar ’18, an outgoing College of Arts and Sciences Representative.

At least there is a contested race for president between Mitchell McBride ’17, a current Arts and Sciences Representative and VP of Internal Operations, and Jordan Berger ’17, the SA’s appointed parliamentarian. The Executive Vice President role will be assumed by Matthew Indimine ’18, current LGBTQ+ Liaison At-Large.

In fact, after voting is over and all the ballots counted, there will be at least two seats—one of four undesignated at-large seats and one of two College of Agriculture and Life Sciences seats—which will remain unfilled until, presumably, a special election next fall semester during the election for the four freshmen representatives and the transfer student representative.

The terms for the candidates who win the elections this week do not begin until next fall semester.

Here’s a breakdown of the contested elections and the uncontested coronations:

Contested (more candidates than seats available running):
– President (two running)
– 2 Minority Students Liaisons At-Large (four running)
– International Students Liaison At-Large (two running)
– 3 College of Arts and Sciences Representatives (four running)
– 2 College of Engineering Representatives (four running)

Uncontested (only one candidate running):
– Executive Vice President
– Women’s Liaison At-Large
– LGBTQ+ Liaison At-Large
– College of Art, Architecture, and Planning Representative
– School of Industrial and Labor Relations Representative
– School of Hotel Administration Representative
– College of Human Ecology Representative
– 1 of 2 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Representatives
– 2 of 4 Undesignated At-Large Representatives

Unfilled (no one running):
– 1 of 2 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Representatives
– 1 of 4 Undesignated At-Large Representatives (loser of the presidential election will take one of these seats)

2 Comments on Cornell Student Assembly Relevance Sinks to New Low: 13 out of 22 Spring Election Races are Uncontested

  1. What if Cornell students refuse to waste their time running for office and then devoting a significant part of their free time to a process where they will have no material impact.

  2. David Breznick // March 14, 2016 at 5:04 pm //

    The SA needs a brokered convention. That would gin up some more interest.

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