If you were on campus last week, it would have been exceptionally difficult not to have witnessed, and perhaps even been immersed in, the AUB student elections. Whether you were a passerby, member of a political club or campaign, or a candidate, elections must have dominated several aspects of your life.
If you avoided campus, though, you definitely shied away from a hectic and chaotic period.
In what was my first time witnessing AUB elections live, the days that preceded results were eventful, to say the least. Campaigns did all they could to convince students to vote for their respective candidates, promote their platforms, all while teasing the opposing campaigns.
A midweek event, the USFC debate, presented itself as an opportunity for candidates of the Leaders of Tomorrow, Students For Change, and Campus Choice campaigns to promote their ideas and answer questions compiled by Outlook and collected from the audience. It mostly achieved that, but there were certain moments that were shrouded in doubt, uncertainty, and more than anything, an unruly environment presented by the audience.
Tensions remained high throughout the remainder of the week, but nothing compared to Friday evening and what came with it.
Standing on the steps of West Hall among members of the administration and Outlook, as well as an [ineffective] screen that was meant to present the election results, the anticipation was palpable. The chants rooted in mockery began early on, but despite this, it was sobering to see such a large portion of the student body gathered together (regardless of the barriers that separated them).
It is a rare occurrence for so many members of the student body to group in the same place at the same time, and actively and passionately participate in the same occasion. It would be refreshing to experience this more often. By ‘this’, though, I mean the time and dedication presented, not the aggression, immaturity, or overly patriarchal atmosphere that was so evident throughout.
Although elections are an annual happening here at AUB, this does not mean that the typical procedures that govern them should become routine. Although routines provide comfort and consistency to some, it should not become a recurring practice for campaigns to make promises they cannot keep, or for the USFC and SRC to not communicate with the student body effectively enough.
And so, I will end this piece by summing up my two-cents and congratulating all the winners. I sincerely hope you serve as you promised you would. I hope your plans and duties unite you more than your differences and opposing viewpoints separated you. I hope, I hope.