Get out and vote

In such a crowded field of candidates, each vote in today's Duke Student Government executive election becomes all the more important.

DSG has experienced a renaissance this year. Its current successes would not seem possible a few short years ago, when the organization was suffering with poor leadership. However, work still needs to be done, as executives clearly need to improve communication with students and legislators. The youth of this year's field increases the election's importance as DSG attempts to continue the strides it has made in recent years.

Today, students are voting for more than ceremonial title holders. Like it or not, these student officers will have the ear of the administration. Whoever wins today will have to represent student opinion on key issues, like the alcohol policy, Curriculum 2000, parking, social space and financial aid. What next year's DSG officers say will have implications for several generations of students to come.

These leaders will need to be tapped into general student opinion, and lobby key administrators for student interests. Tomorrow's winners will have the access and the power to lobby for substantial change. But with this power comes responsibility-students need to vote for the candidate they feel most comfortable having represent them in a fair and accurate manner.

This is the first DSG presidential race without a preordained favorite running from the ranks of current DSG vice presidents. In some ways, this void can be looked at as a benefit-one presidential candidate will have the opportunity to inject a fresh perspective into DSG. These candidates possess "outside-the-box" mindsets and will invigorate the organization with their innovative ideas. At the same time, however, a fresh perspective does not necessarily translate into good leadership. Student's must weigh the potential benefits of electing a fresh face versus the possibility of disaster and discord.

This year's DSG executive elections will mold the orgainization's philosophy and character for the next several years. With the vote split between as many as nine candidates, every single ballot makes a difference in selecting the strongest candidates from this broad field. The general student body must take this opportunity to shape DSG thoughtfully and seriously-otherwise, they will have no one to blame but themselves for DSG's shortcomings.

The Chronicle reiterates its endorsements of Trinity junior Jim Lazarus for DSG president, Trinity sophomore Daryn Dodson for executive vice president, Trinity junior Rob Leonard for vice president for community interaction, Trinity junior Jason Bergsman for vice president of academic affairs and Trinity freshman Emily Grey for vice president for facilities and athletics.


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