A trending discussion in politics is the abolishment of the electoral college; however, a look into presidential elections without an electoral college highlights the electoral importance.
If the electoral college is abolished, it will upset the foundations of the American Republic. The U.S. will find its elections pandering only to the wealthy, densely populated areas of the nation. The Greek population at the University during the Student Government presidential elections foreshadows what would happen without the electoral college.
The Greek Life houses during elections reveal a phenomenon peculiar only to the Greek side of campus, student body president support signs. Last year, different houses displayed “Elevate” and “All In” banners, which showed support for the two major executive campaign tickets. Most other parts of campus, excluding possibly the Student Union, would be hard-pressed to find any campaign materials.
The reason is simple: Greek students are the only group of active students who are gathered in such a small area on campus. If a student government candidate wants to have a successful election, all they need to do is pander to Greek Life. Is the issue obvious yet?
This simple and predictable election strategy leaves many students voiceless on campus. The University’s Greek Life only makes up 22% of the student body, meaning at most 78% of the campus is not heard during an election. The Greek body itself is mostly white, full-time undergraduate students without children to feed or families to support. It’s misleading to say they represent the full scope of the student body.
There should be a way to equalize the votes across campus. The handful of single parents putting themselves through school wouldn’t be drowned out by loyal sorority sisters and fraternity brothers supporting their friends running for student body president.
If we would all turn to our U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 2.
The electoral college solves the problem of minorities not having a voice in an election. The majority of people in the U.S. are consolidated into a handful of cities, and they all generally vote the same way.
Blue collar workers and small business owners in the heartland of the U.S. generally have different political views. They need the electoral college to prevent their voices from being drowned out by more populated areas like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Louisiana, as with most states, would be irrelevant in an election without the electoral college. Coastal erosion, the needs of the oil-based economy, our public schools and our civil liberties are subject to the voting base in California, New York and Illinois.
The electoral college helps Louisiana, as with all smaller and poorer states, to have its residents’ voices equalized to the U.S. powerhouses, to ensure an equal voting opportunity.
The U.S. has a few choices. The first is a new system of voter representation that is more fair than the current electoral college. This seems unlikely because in the 230 years of the U. S. Constitution, such a system has yet to be made. The next is that the U.S. keep the electoral college, while urging greater voter participation.
The last option is the U.S. can abolish the electoral college, and our president can be decided on the complexities and honesty of a college student body president election.
Choose wisely, America.
Brett Landry is a 20-year-old mass communication senior from Bourg, Louisiana.