I wanted to take a quick moment to thank you all for your role in making
last week's elections a huge success. Having taken a weekend far from UVM,
most of which was spent on the road, I've had quite a bit of time for
reflection on the experience.
As you are all by now aware, more people voted than any of us had ever
expected or dared to hope for. What that means is that all those people in
some way felt that they were connected to the SGA enough to care in what
direction we take things next year. Given our problems of late connecting
to the students, or as Robert would say "getting the pulse", we all should
look at this as a powerful opportunity to be more visible and relevant.
Everybody who voted, whether their candidate won or lost, now feels as
though they have a stake in this government. We need to harness this
We have taken a step forward, let us not now take two steps back. Many of
the people I talked to throughout this campaign, specifically some of the
environmental folks, were willing to grant us participation in the form of
a vote as something of a test. They expressed a certain distrust of the
SGA but basically said, "OK. I'll vote, but I really don't think the SGA
matters. Why don't you SHOW ME why I should be involved." If we address
the concerns of these tentative voters in an effective manner we stand to
convert them into strong supporters of our work. Conversely, if we do not,
we will alienate them more then ever - past the point of ever gaining again
any part of their confidence.
So, as we now take a deep breath and look forward we should do so with the
weight of each and every one of those votes heavy upon our minds. We need
to see every vote as not only a vote for a candidate in the election, but
also as an expression of faith in what we as an SGA do - a faith we can
either strengthen or destroy in the next year depending on our actions.
Lets get out there over the next year and show these people beyond any
shadow of a doubt that the SGA is THE voice of the students - that we
deserve their confidence.
Again, nice job on all you did to make this happen. Lots of people I
talked to expressed some level of concern for their personal safety if
their friend the senator found out they didn't vote! Moving on to the
Grammy awards acceptance speech part of this convoluted little message - I
know I speak for everybody in sending out 'special thanks' to Julie Britt
and everyone she employed in her efforts. I hope this message was at least
vaguely coherent, I managed to get sick this weekend so I'm a little NyQuil
spacey right now:-)
Thanks for reading my ramble-