Just Slating it In

December 9th, 2016

Illustration by Varenka Kim / The Phoenix News

Illustration by Varenka Kim / The Phoenix News

The show between the Students’ Union Vice Presidents and President led me to conclude, with ease, that slating is not a bad idea a er all. It is argued that slates can be detrimental for various reasons, however, a lack of slates can be ugly too.

I would rather an incompetent team than a divided one. In my opinion, weakness is strengthened in numbers while division gets us nowhere. The premise which guides my inclination is simple; when I look at the words “Students’ Union”, the existence of the word union, right after students, stipulates a need for collaboration and team work. The Students’ Union is product of students uniting to form a strong body. Thee positions and roles of the student union administration are best suited for team players and not lone wolfs. It is therefore necessary for slating to be allowed if candidates vying for those positions see it necessary.

A slate is a group of candidates who run in a multi-position election on a common platform. The assumption is that there is a shared vision amongst members of a slate. It is basically like a national or federal political party except, the common lifespan of a slate is practically an academic year.

In the spirit of democracy, I think its in students’ best interests to leave the option to slate open. If indeed students wish to o er leadership, not just as individual but as a team or organization, they should be allowed to. I do not see why there should be a limitation to this option. The issue has been highly politicized creating a sequence of full recognitions
to outright bans of the idea over the past years. The reason in my opinion is reactionary decisions based on isolated cases of dramatic events. It would be ludicrous to decide, based on the recent Students’ Union theatrics, to completely abolish running as individuals because it can lead to division. e challenge is on us the students to make our leadership accountable to us, slate or not.

There are fears that slates o en comprise of students who come together more so because of personal camaraderie as opposed to common interest in solving issues. is could be true however, I do not have ample anecdotal evidence to reject or accept that claim. It is undeniable however, that no one benefits when the leadership is not united in its goal of serving student interests.

if we are to look at the past three presidential administrations, the United for a Better Campus team ran a much smoother term than the other two that were characterized by internal bickering and drama. That being said, it does not mean slates are always the better option. It is a matter of context. Thus allowing slating fully gives availability to that option when one thinks its best suited.

I am glad to see the executives have chosen to let the past be the past and focus on their duties. I do believe that the choice of choosing the team you would like to work with, incase you desire to work for the Students’ Union, is not a bad idea at all. Slating is not such a bad idea.

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