[eDebate] Meeting/Participation Concerns

Ashley Michelle Papon tabloidscully
Sat Mar 31 18:00:04 CDT 2007

As a student who actually attended the elections, I
wanted to say a few things in regards to the recent

First, Candice did do everything she possibly could to
both delay the elections and to accomodate travel
issues.  I believe the elections wound up taking place
a considerable amount of time after they were
scheduled to do so, because we were all waiting in
effort to be as fair as possible.  However, there were
other activities scheduled for that night and they had
to happen at some point.

Second, many individuals, at Candice's request, did
their best to get everyone who had arrived at the
hotel to come and vote.  Several of my colleagues at
KCK, most notably John Bretthauer, were seen
scrambling around the buffet room and bar area,
encouraging students to go vote in the board room.

Third, while I am relieved no one is trying to shift
the blame on Candice, I also don't think putting all
of the blame on the structure of elections is
appropriate, either.  Although the travel issues were
unfortunate, let's not forget that there were
literally dozens of students at the hotel who chose
not to attend the elections, at least a fair fraction
of whom knew and understood what was going on.  There
were at least two that I personally talked to that
told me bluntly that they didn't care about attending
to the elections and were more interested in attending
to the bar.

Instead of criticizing the system or calling for a new
election (which isn't fair or reasonable, especially
since there will always invariably issues that arise
that keep all people from attending at the same time)
I think the best approach is that which is oriented
towards the future.  We should be asking ourselves
what it will take to get students involved and caring
about debate as something other than a scholarship
opportunity, and how do we get there?

Thankfully, Candice seems to be doing a great job of
that.  The blog idea is modern, innovative and
practical.  It offers a strong chance to become a
forum where students are heard, validated and
responded to, which may be what is necessary to bridge
the gap from student apathy to student advocacy.

Ashley-Michelle Papon

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