Luther College Chips

With regards to Asha and Sam’s experience with the student senate

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Dear Editor,

Last week, I got an email from the Student Senate asking me to fill out the student senate ballot. I opened the form with enthusiasm, as I was excited to vote for two astounding and visible leaders on campus, Asha Aden (‘20) and Sam Kottke (‘20). However, Asha and Sam’s names were not to be found on the form; instead, there was only one ticket for the Senate President/ Vice President positions, names which were unfamiliar to me.

After reading Asha and Sam’s letter in this newspaper the following day, I was sorely disappointed in the Student Senate. As one of the many students who had signed in support for Asha and Sam’s ticket, I felt angry that our support for their candidacy was disregarded by a small group of senate members on minor technicalities. For the Senate to say that it is representing the student body and then go to such appalling lengths to deny Asha and Sam’s ticket shows how out of touch the Senate is with the students they are supposed to be representing.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am not expecting the Senate to treat Asha and Sam differently, but I expect the Senate to be a fair and inclusive body to all. The election guidelines or the forms used for the election do not indicate that electronic signatures are not accepted. Yet, after being told so, Asha collected handwritten signatures and turned in a revised — late — application on the same day. According to the Senate bylaws, late applications are to be reviewed by the Election Committee. Instead of reviewing the revised application, the Election Committee reviewed the original application with the electronic signatures, which I believe is not fair, and done with the sole intent of disqualifying Asha and Sam in order to ensure the position would go on to those who have previously served on the Senate.

I wish all the best to the candidates whose name made it on to the ballot. I hope you would work twice as hard, knowing that you are a product of an unfair election, to fix the issues within Senate. I also hope that you would step out of the Senate room every now and again, and actually try to understand the student body you are tasked with representing. I hope you do better. And no, I did not vote for you.

Signed,

Ismail Hamid (‘19)

Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chips or organizations whith which the author(s) are associated.

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