This nation is suffering right now from a serious lack of leadership.

More shocking, though, is that it has become pandemic. That is to say, more and more we see stories in the news of elected officials who act selfishly and unethically, leading their constituents to take action.

For those who struggle with the concept of ethics, it’s doing the right thing, regardless.

That means that all of your loyalties, ambitions and potential gains, whether they be fame or finance, must be set aside, and everything you do must be focused on the greater good.

That hasn’t been the norm in this country as of late. Elected officials sit like fat house cats upon their high and lofty perch, awaiting servitude and worship like the gods of Olympus.

This has become more apparent as of late as our elected officials return to visit their constituencies, and in lieu of their eagerly desired praise and adoration, they are being met with scorn and criticism. Many officials are refusing to hold town hall meetings in their voting districts for fear of receiving reproach.

The fact that the citizens of this nation are now rising up from the couch and raising their voices in protest is a testament to the American people’s needs for their elected officials to do what is right for them, regardless.

On a smaller scale, we are feeling these pains here at Weber State. This time of year marks the beginning of student body elections, and the senate elections showed that we have a problem.

WSUSA Senate’s office in the Student Involvement & Leadership center is locked and vacant except for furniture following Senate’s removal from the office to make way for a new faculty member. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

Of the 22 senate positions, 11 do not have an official candidate of any kind, eight only have one candidate for the position and three have an actual race between two candidates. Now, of the 26,000 students who call Weber State home, only 14 students are willing to make their voices count in decisions affecting student life.

This is disheartening for me, and it should be for everyone who sets foot on this campus. But, in light of recent events, I can empathize with those who are afraid to run.

Three things have come to light in regard to the senate and how they have been treated as of late, and I feel that these are probably the contributing factors in the lack of willing candidates. One, their tuition waivers have been cut by a total of $125 per semester. Two, they were kicked out of their office space in SIL and left with few options as to a new professional meeting space.

Three, though they have fulfilled their responsibilities this past academic year, they have constantly faced reproach for doing their jobs, though not in the way SIL advisers have recommended.

Mind you, the first two factors come as decisions from Director of SIL Tara Peris-Caputo. However, I understand how hard it can be to do your job when you aren’t getting the respect you deserve. It is shameful to see student leaders treated that way. It should never have played out this way.

Our cause then, as citizens — but especially as students here on campus now — is to become the change in leadership. That means voting. That means stepping forward when no one else will. Only then will we be able to solve the problem that currently threatens us.

Only then will we be able to the right thing for everyone, regardless.

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