The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 41.0°F | A Few Clouds

Students Should Wait to Vote

Yet again the Undergraduate Association has botched its election process, this time by an absence of publicity and an irrational campaign schedule. By allowing for such a small amount of public discussion before the onset of electronic voting, the UA has robbed undergraduates of a chance to make an informed choice, and robbed the candidates of their ability to make a case to the electorate.

The deadline for submitting candidate packets was extended one week to March 1. Electronic voting runs from March 6 through March 11, and paper balloting is on March 13.

There has been little opportunity for students to learn about the leaders who will soon represent them. Before March 6, there were two dormitory study breaks and a candidate forum. The UA presidential debates, however, have been ill-planned. A March 6 debate in Burton-Conner House was attended only by candidates, UA cronies, and Tech staff members - partly due to a lack of publicity. The most public and formal of the election events - the main debate scheduled for March 11 - was canceled, then hastily reinstated. Yet since the electronic voting will occur before the main debate, many will have voted before having the opportunity to hear the candidates in an open forum.

So far the various platforms seemed to focus on only a few intangible goals, mostly discussing communication with undergraduates, publications like the Course Evaluation Guide and HowToGAMIT, and the Aramark contract. What do the candidates feel about re-engineering, ROTC, and budget cuts? How well will they represent the interests of students when dealing with administrators? Can they inculcate in the undergraduate body a spirit of participation and civic pride where their predecessors have failed? These questions remain to be answered.

Instead of voting online with the limited information available now, undergraduates should attempt to learn as much as possible, and vote when paper ballots are available on March 13. Only by waiting for paper balloting can we cast an adequately informed vote.