Staff Editorial: Student for city council

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February 12, 2008

12:46 PM

David Sievers ’07 announced his candidacy for Williamsburg city council Feb. 10, 2006. Now, two years later almost to the day, all’s quiet on the student front. We’d have thought the more than 700 new student voters would have been all the impetus necessary to draw the would-be legislators out of the woodwork.

p. Sadly, this has yet to happen, and by this point it will be difficult to assemble the resources needed to conduct an effective campaign. In 2006, Sievers set aside an entire semester, postponing his graduation, to make his bid. If someone has adopted a similar tactic this year, we have yet to hear about it.

p. Given the Student Assembly’s enthusiasm for registering voters, we had assumed its members would display an equal penchant for guiding a student into office. Few, if any, organizations on campus command the SA’s familiarity with and ties to city politics.

p. Unless someone emerges to advance the student agenda, however, the 700-plus students the SA helped register will have little incentive to vote come election day; students could well be silenced after that Tuesday in May.

p. If, for example, none of the candidates support changing the three-person-to-a-house rule, then it will no longer affect electability. On the other hand, if a student candidate runs with an intent to change that policy, others will be forced to moderate their views for fear of losing student votes.

p. Sievers offered that alternative viewpoint in 2006, losing by a relatively small margin. Now, students’ newfound suffrage in Williamsburg could usher in a new age of city politics, but only if someone is willing and able to lead the charge.

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