If the Undergraduate Student Government wants to maintain its outward facade as a democratic organization, then it should not be penalizing candidates so disproportionally for their perceived “offenses”. That a candidate “did not attend an open house” seems to indicate that the person was not interested in conforming to the strictures of USG’s petty decorum. It would be akin to a U.S. presidential candidate boycotting a debate. He would not receive any penalty from, say, the Federal Election Commission, and especially not to the tune of TEN percentage points – a margin which would cripple even a strong frontrunner. However, the USG has chosen to continue its practice of patronage for those to which it wishes to pass the torch of “government” at Princeton. It is clear that Mr. Gansa, one of the presidential candidates, has received such undue backlash from the USG for his decision to shirk the confines that the USG forces candidates to operate under. Even if Mr. Gansa receives a majority of the votes in this week’s elections, the draconian penalty heaped on him by the USG will almost surely prevent the democratic process from functioning correctly. Also consider the ludicrous penalties heaped on other candidates. A five-point penalty for having a website live for one hour before campaigning began? I’m sure that candidate gained *such* a competitive advantage for that. It is interesting that the candidate receiving the smallest penalty – four points – of those awarded was responsible for not something promoting his own campaign, but for actively obstructing another candidate’s campaign. Perhaps one should take a moment to reflect on the USG’s motives this election cycle.
[…] An email sent out by current USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 on Nov. 26 actually contained a link to the penalty points incurred by each candidate thus far – not surprising, only four of 28 […]
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