George Mason Law School

Staff Editorial: SA wrong to renew SIN

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November 2, 2007

9:08 AM

The Student Assembly has stumbled again.

p. Members have wrongly abandoned their search for a third-party voting system that would replace the outdated Student Information Network, a student-produced computer program that has handled student government campus-wide elections over the past several years. After haphazardly searching for replacement software, SA President Zach Pilchen ’09 called it quits, saying “SIN is fine.”

p. The only problem is that SIN is not “fine,” and with the serious problems that it has caused student elections over the past year, SIN is no longer suitable for the College.

p. Last year, election results were wiped out due to human error. SIN will continue to be prone to human error as long as it is run by SA members who are not equipped to handle the system. Senate representatives cite the relatively successful freshmen elections as reason enough to stick with SIN. They were considering using votenet.com, but abandoned the option because it would have cost the College $2,500 per year. The SA has access to vast resources through various reserve accounts, so labeling cost as an issue in replacing the outdated voting system calls into question just where the SA is spending its money if not to benefit students. The assurance of having accurate elections would be worth the cost to students.

p. Unfortunately, the SA abandoned its search prematurely. Arguing that one successful election can redeem a program that cannot sustain the College’s basic election needs is absurd. SIN as it stands inspires no confidence in its ability to provide accurate elections. Student representatives are happy, for now, but in neglecting this responsibility, they have put future elections at risk.

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