This week marked the start of campaigning for SHMU executive positions. Posters are hanging in high foot-traffic areas of major McGall buildings, candidates are shaking hand after hand while trying to remember name after name, and the websites of hundreds of failed past SHMU candidates still reside in the stark purgatory of unvisited cyberspace.
There is an air of nervousness and excitement across campus as election season approaches.
“I am so excited for the beginning of campaign season! I think it is fantastic to see everyone out there,” said N-baller Songstress, candidate for SHMU VP External.
Yet it remains unsaid that if her campaign fails, the hollow husk of her website will linger online in perpetuity. Conversely, if she wins then her opponent will be subject to the same fate. Student democracy is zero-sum.
Particularly of interest is the race for SHMU President with four candidates vying for the position.
“Having multiple candidates promotes multiple viewpoints and tends to increase total voter turnout on campus. This is strongly beneficial to political discourse,” said Bend Fun, Chief Electoral Officer at Elections SHMU, failing to mention that only one candidate can become president and the unrealized hopes and dreams of the rest become caught in amber as cached files on a server.
Like the names of long-dead lovers carved on trees that have long outlasted both the passion of their romance and their lives in entirety, websites of would-be SHMU politicians were once filled with life and promise. Now those which have not been taken down in disappointment serve as a stern reminder to current candidates about the nature of student democracy and futility of all human enterprise.
“With so many candidates in the race, it is important for candidates to follow all electoral bylaws,” added Bend Fun. “This is essential for an orderly election.”
Images of smiling students in blazers in front of the Farts building will be left behind as detritus after this campaign as it has been since the dawn of the internet. Like Ozymandias’ works, carefully constructed websites stand as digital monuments to humanity’s frailty. Tabs that detail platform, experience, and endorsements have remain unclicked for years.
“It is easy to forget about bylaws in the heat of campaigning but it is quite important to follow them. Candidates have consulted heavily with Elections SHMU to make sure no infractions will occur,” stated Klear Stew-Can, candidate for VP University Affairs.
Like the dead who always outnumber the living, the legions of discarded websites championing prior experience and platforms will always outnumber successful SHMU candidates. Like dust suspended in moonlight, they cast an eerie pall over all hopeful successors to the positions.
“We are excited for this year’s election and wish all the candidates the best!” said Fun.