Vote. It’s not that hard.
After last year’s Student Association election saw less than a fourth of the student body turnout to vote, we penned an editorial calling on students to engage further with the SA and its elections. As we approach another election — voting opens next Wednesday — we feel it necessary to reiterate our call. For anyone who has tried to raise student awareness of an issue, aired a grievance against the administration or tried to spur change on campus, now is the time to cast your ballot for who you want to represent the student body and fight for the issues that matter to you.
There is a common misconception, somewhat excusably, that the business of the SA only concerns a small number of students. With this perception, people feel that they have nothing at stake in the elections and therefore don’t bother casting a ballot. But this year, the SA has been thrust into the spotlight over a variety of issues, such as the debate over moving the Founder’s Memorial and the disabling of the EarthCam. In both of those controversies, administrators cited SA concerns and suggestions as guidance for their actions.
It is clear now more than ever that the SA plays a direct role in student life on this campus. So what should y’all do? Vote. Luckily, the voting process couldn’t really be any easier. The SA conducts its elections antithetical to everything for which the new Texas election law stands. Every student is automatically registered, the ballot is emailed directly to each voter, and voting takes place online, 24/7 over eight days.
All that being said, voting just for the sake of voting is not enough. You can and should educate yourself on the candidates to make an informed decision through any number of means. Visit the candidates’ websites and read about their platforms. Read our election coverage this week and our candidate endorsements next week. Attend the SA Presidential Debate on Monday night. And if all else fails, approach the candidates personally and ask them for their position on an issue you care about. Use your vote to shape the organization that can bring the issues you most care about to the forefront of campus discussion.
Editor’s Note: Thresher editorials are collectively written by the members of the Thresher’s editorial board. Current members include Savannah Kuchar, Ben Baker-Katz, Nayeli Shad, Talha Arif, Morgan Gage, Daniel Schrager and Brandon Chen.
More from The Rice Thresher
Comments like “What’s with the suit? What’s the occasion? Who’s getting married?” surrounded me as I strolled into my college commons one day last fall. It caught me off guard; why am I the only one dressed up on career fair day? My bioengineering friend quickly answered my question. “Why should I bother going to the career fair?” he said. “There’s no bioengineering companies there.” He’s absolutely right. But the problem extends beyond just bioengineering.
In the 18th Century, Immanuel Kant (often considered the central figure in modern philosophy) used the phrase Spaere aude in a 1784 essay titled “Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment.” Translated from Latin, it means “dare to know,” or in some cases, “dare to be wise.” Kant argued our inability to think for ourselves was due to fear, not due to a lack of intellect. In the opening paragraph of his essay, Kant states “Have the courage to use your own reason—that is the motto of enlightenment.”
The Oscars may be so white, but Houston art isn’t — as long as you’re looking in the right places. It is all too true that arts organizations still fall short of creating accessible spaces with equitable representation of artists. For instance, white men still make up the majority of artists represented in prominent museums across the United States. Even with increased attention to elevating the work of women artists and an uptick in women-only art shows and exhibitions focused on the work of underrepresented artists, only 11% of permanent acquisitions by major American art museums from 2008 to 2019 were by women; of that 11%, only 3.3.% were by Black women artists.