With the USC Student Government election season behind us, we tend to forget a lot of the details from those two weeks. Students have mastered the art of avoiding eye contact with eager campaign staffers, despite supporters being instructed to pass out flyers to every student that walked past.
Most campaign-related information is now communicated through social media. Although candidates dedicate some of their time to promoting their platforms and campaign promises online, it seems that each candidate's main focus is hard campaigning.
Whenever Student Government elections are upon us, I always see the amount of litter on campus increase. Although a good portion of the handouts don't get read, students feel an obligation to take the campaign material that staffers are dropping in their laps.
I walk down Greene Street after all the tents have packed up, and assorted stickers are stuck to the pavement, in addition to trash containers overflowing with crumpled- flyers. I have peeled off stickers from sidewalks by the Darla Moore School of Business and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Organizations like Student Government need to start thinking about going paperless. Social media, in my opinion, is the best way to connect to people of our generation and candidates need to focus on that more.
The Daily Gamecock also prints a lot of paper that may go unused. Their product is printed on recycled paper in soy-based ink and they print significantly less than in past years, but still, like Student Government, they and other organizations can benefit from using social media instead of paper.
That doesn’t mean they have to abandon Greene Street campaigning altogether. The presence of in-person campaigning allows for students to interact with the candidates and their staff, but removing the pressure of physical campaign material makes the interactions more natural and good-willed.
I would enjoy seeing Student Government move to become more environmentally aware of the impact it can have on campus.