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Election Time

It’s the second to last week before finals. We, as the SGA Executive Board, have decided to hold the election of our exec board this week instead of next week, so that everyone has enough time to prepare and we don’t eat into anyone’s study time. I was not sure that I wanted to run again, this having been a hard semester but, as a team, we work well together and so I decided to run again, to keep the machine as well-oiled as possible.

Of course, this now meant that I was the only one who was running against an opponent. Every other position was uncontested, and it was certainly annoying that I had to put in effort into making a speech and winning votes while the other board members, who had cajoled me into running again, won unopposed. I, of course, do not normally mind making speeches and I revel in the opportunity to do some public speaking from time to time. However, my speech this time was a little too silly, apparently, and failed to: A) take into account how good the speech of my opponent was, and B) realize that I should not include phrases like ‘clutched rancor to our collective bosom’ as part of a speech to win a student government position.

While the votes were being tallied, this was one of the few times that I felt truly apprehensive about the results of an election. I’m usually fairly confident, but I was quite worried – and it must have showed on my face, as one of my fellow board members even commented that they had never seen me this nervous before. While my speech had some good points, so did my opponent’s – it was a fair trade-off between us, with neither being the obviously favored candidate. Finally, the votes were done being tallied (by the faculty liaison and the current SGA Executive President), and as they walked down I readied myself for any eventuality.

As fortune would have it, I won but only by a few votes. Thus, while I am happy that I did win, this election served an even better purpose. It made me more aware that I could be doing things better than I already was, and that there was always room for improvement. Who knows, maybe next time I’ll lose, but the nice thing about Executive board elections is that they are not a popularity contest. You are judged on your actions and your words. You must be able to show that you are truly deserving of the position to be able to win it. Thus, the faith placed in me by my colleagues is what most humbles me, and fans my desire to help make the school a better place for all.

by Prakash Jayanthi, Class of 2014