The student elections put all those eligible to vote in them, all undergraduate students, in a position of forced choice: either vote, or not vote. Obviously we are opting for the “not vote” option, however our stance runs a lot deeper than simply not being satisfied with those who are running: it is a broad criticism of the Student Government, and the system of hierarchy and irresponsibility it runs on. This is why we are calling for a full ‘Negation’ of the vote. It is not a rejection of the election in just this instance, or anything as shallow as that. Which is why we use the word ‘Negate’ (ne·gate 1 : to deny the existence or truth of 2 : to cause to be ineffective or invalid) And the word ‘negate’ just sounds sexy. Some of our more specific thoughts on the matter follow.
It seems almost like a joke to call out to abstain from doing what is, in itself, an empty gesture. However, the reasoning behind it comes from the potentiality for destroying the Student Government’s hegemony over politics at the University. In the large-scale political universe, outside the University, there are those who vote and those who perform Direct Action. Our aim is to create a similar situation in the microcosmic world of the University. By not voting in the student elections, one does not play into the bio-political monopoly of the Student Government. This is a humble, but necessary start.
As children, we can call out lies and recognize deception to a very large extent. When we age, we are socialized to tell ourselves more and more complex lies, and form more and more disgusting and counterintuitive habits. One of the more prominent lies that some adults tell themselves is: voting works. The lie that voting works is pretty obvious, the question: what effect can checking a box, punching a hole, or clicking a button on the computer make? The answer: none. Additionally if one looks at those who are telling us to vote, it is usually those who have something to gain from us voting. This is something to be skeptical of.
Let’s get one thing straight: We’re not looking for reform.
Bigger cages with longer chains are not something we are interested in. Even if a student politician does get elected who is not a puppet for the regents, and who can push for a more comfortable space for the students, they ultimately have to make too many compromises. By collaborating with people in high positions to power, student politicians, even the most well-intentioned, cannot inject the University with the amount of freedom we demand. Thus, being that student politicians are so willing to compromise, and compromise is definitely not something we are looking for, we must reject them outright. There is no hope in the vote.
And, probably the biggest reason to ‘negate the vote’ is that;
Student politicians become real politicians. It makes sense that those who want to become politicians begin in the University. Meaning that when we exit the University, the same student politicians who were given power in their student government are now making decisions that effect people on a wider scale. Thus, since we know politicians are corrupt, and never actually effect positive change in our lives, we ought to oppose them from the beginning of their political careers: oppose them as student politicians.
We are at War.
War on those who oppress us. However, those who oppress us create a battlefield with particular channels through which we are expected to fight. These channels include voting, lobbying, initiatives, and all other boring political channels. Those who are in power preserve these channels because these channels preserve their hegemony over the means of political action. If they can convince us that the only way to win is to play their game by their rules, then we are already defeated. We must reject their rules and their game.
We do not have too much hope for the student body, nor any demands of anyone at the school, (or demands of anyone at all for that matter). This idea is to encourage those who are on the same page to reject something they are already rejecting and maybe politicize a few disillusioned students along the way. Also, to confront our enemies, Student Politicians, and let them know that there is a contingent that rejects the legitimacy of their Power. We hope this project surpasses our expectations, which are miniscule; for the first time, we're siding with apathy, a subject students at our particular educational institution are well versed in.