Let me be the first to say that it is admirable for any student to take part in campus leadership. The Undergraduate Student Government members that I know personally are talented and driven individuals who want to do whatever they can to improve the Ohio State experience for all current and future Buckeyes.
I also understand that it is extremely difficult for a student government to enact real, quantifiable change. It takes a lot of patience and initiative to work with an administration that ultimately holds the power to act unilaterally — regardless of student input.
Judging by the voter turnout in USG elections, which hovers somewhere below 25 percent of undergraduate enrollment, it’s fair to say that the majority of my fellow students don’t much care about who represents them. And after the perennial cycles of lofty campaign platforms seemingly being followed by an utter lack of perceptible changes, can you blame them? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the majority of students welcome USG election season with a collective eye-roll.
This year, as The Lantern has covered, there is such a lack of interest that only one presidential ticket is appearing on the USG ballot. Which is why I think humorous write-in campaigns such as Stavroula Pabst’s are a breath of fresh air.
Though Pabst’s campaign is clearly a satire, poking fun at the political process is a way to get people to pay at least some attention to the USG elections. Students who may not otherwise have given USG a second thought might be drawn in and find that they actually want to get involved in campus government.
Most importantly, political parody ensures that no one is taking themselves too seriously. It’s all too easy to become so wrapped up in the elections that we forget what USG and OSU as a whole is supposed to represent: a community of learning and growth.
At the end of the day, we’re all Buckeyes, and we all want what’s best for our school. Being lighthearted every now and then allows us all to take a step back and remind ourselves of that fact. Once we’re able to do that, who knows what we can accomplish?
And that’s why I’m #ReadyForStav.
Second-year in political science and economics