Elections? How about popularity contest

Samantha Wolf and Robbie Williford won against James Sklar and Tommy Chen to become the student body president and vice president of the Oakland University Student Congress for the 2012-13 academic year. This victory does not come without some skepticism, however.

It was confirmed by soon-to-be former Student Congress President Ben Evelsage that Sklar and Chen had 13 grievances filed against them and were found guilty of six of them, losing an overall 27 percent of their votes.

Some of the grievances filed against Sklar and Chen included serving food on campus, playing music and using areas of the sidewalk that weren’t rented ahead of time.

I have no problem that Wolf and Williford won. Congratulations. You’ll do well.

However, I do have a problem that the Sklar and Chen campaign received 13 grievances when the Wolf/Williford campaign received none.

Even further, the grievances filed against the Skalr/Chen campaign came complete with photographs of the offenses.

Considering some of the things that I saw, read and heard prior to and at the election results, I’m rather shocked that grievances weren’t filed to other candidates.

Next week’s issue of The Oakland Post will feature a story about the Pokéchalkers, a couple that traveled across the campus and drew Pokémon art.

I noticed something different a week ago before walking in the Oakland Center and admiring their drawings. They were desecrated.

On the ground, with the Pokéchalker’s drawing, the words “vote Williford/Wolf” were written in a bubble, connecting to the artwork.

Pokéchalker Michael Danielson said there was more than one location these words were written, and they weren’t written by him.

Though the Williford and Wolf campaign has denied writing the messages, I find it hard to believe.

It’s unlikely a random student would take time out of their day to write that. This can only mean that the people who wrote it were the ones who denied writing it, or people from their campaign.

This is a display of unethical conduct. Respect the artist’s drawings. You don’t see the Romney or Obama campaigners writing “vote for Romney/Obama” on the Mona Lisa.

Looking at Wolf and Williford’s campaigners, it seems they have committed a lowbrow tactic.

Sklar and Chen respected the art and left it alone, something that the Wolf/Williford campaigners should have done.

But of course, their campaign had no grievances filed against them.

Ask yourself, which is more suitable for punishment, a person giving out free ice cream, or a person that is using someone else’s art to gain political advantage?

The distance in which they were handing out the ice cream is a null and void argument, because there was a written message on someone else’s art, promoting candidates Wolf and Williford.

If you are going to file a grievance for giving free food to students and playing music, you better file a grievance for taking someone’s art and writing a political message on it without permission.

Things got even more suspicious during the election results.

There was a high amount of legislators wearing Wolf/Williford shirts. It’s rather perplexing the legislators would wear those shirts when they have their own campaigns to run.

Not to forget, these classy legislators were also wearing these shirts in front of opposing candidate Tommy Chen, so he could see they do not support him.

What do actual legislators do? They show impartiality.

The Student Congress elections were not an election — they were a popularity contest from the start. Next time, keep the shirts at home and try to maintain some professionalism. High school was about two or three years ago for some of you.

It’s no wonder Sklar didn’t show up at the results.

After current Vice President Elisa Malile tweeted the grievances out the day before the results, it was obvious everyone already knew who won.

The worst thing though?

Over 20 percent of the students that voted for Chen and Sklar did not have their votes counted for, which leads me to my proposition of a new motto: change the motto from, “Your voice. Heard.” to “Your voice. Muzzled unless you support who we support.”

CORRECTION: Oakland University Student Congress Vice President Elisa Malile tweeted the grievances before the election results, not before the elections.

Justin Colman is a Copy Editor at The Oakland Post. He can be reached via email at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JustinColman