By Duke Staff
During this week’s Student Government debate, moderators asked both presidential hopefuls about the state of school spirit here on the Bluff. Both candidates (as expected) gave the same answer, that Duquesne students are some of the most enthusiastic, proud students one could hope to come by. The state of Duquesne’s school spirit is, in a word, great.
To which we at The Duke must ask: Prove it.
We love Duquesne, but good grief is it easy to be cynical and wonder if our love for the place we call home isn’t shared with the vast student body. Weekends turn the campus into a ghost town, and most sporting events, outside a handful, are flagrantly empty.
However, the most egregious example of the student body’s lackluster enthusiasm is the pathetic voter turnout.
To be perfectly honest, we find the levels of student turnout unacceptable. Student participation is laughably low, and yet, we hear complaints all the time from students about things that the SGA is specifically designed to address.
Are Campus Market prices too high? They can help with that. Do you feel like not enough care is given to students who have to travel? Boy, will you be excited to hear about SGA. Upset about the state of dorms or visiting policies? Guess who you should be talking to.
This is to say nothing about initiatives that are actively helping students right now. The book loan program is a great opportunity for students, as is the career closet that SGA helps manage. If students simply voted, more initiatives of this scale could take place.
Voting, for those who don’t know, involves simply logging into DORI, having your screen taken over by a popup window reminding you to vote and then casting your ballot. The whole exercise will usually consume something like five minutes of a student’s day. And do you know how many are unable to fit such a strenuous activity in their schedules?
Last year’s election saw a turnout of just over 1,000 voters. The year before that, we saw an estimated 1,300 turn their computers on and made the minimal effort to participate in the campus community. For crying out loud, the special election last year only netted a measly 382.
Our point is that if school spirit is so high with the student body, we are not seeing it. And this may sound like a bitter diatribe, but prove us wrong. Prove to The Duke that the students of Duquesne care enough about their campus that they will do the absolute bare minimum to participate in it.
In summary: Vote.