Staff Editorial

Why we aren’t endorsing candidates this year

By The Polytechnic Editorial Board March 13, 2019

This year, The Polytechnic will not perform its formal GM Week endorsement process. Rather, grand marshal, president of the Union, and undergraduate president candidates will be evaluated through our regular reporting process and featured in our Editorial/Opinion section. This divergence from a long-standing tradition was prompted by an abrupt shift in leadership. Though sudden, it is our belief that this change in reporting will improve our elections coverage.

Our former Editor-in-Chief Brookelyn Parslow ’20 was told she “must immediately step down” from her position by Director of the Union Charlie Potts due to a policy violation concerning her current inactive status as a Rensselaer student. As she’s taking classes at Hudson Valley Community College for a semester, she is no longer allowed to serve as a voting member of our club. Without Brookelyn serving as a member of our voting editorial board, we realized how the quality of our formal endorsements would fall without input from her, as she is one of the most experienced members of The Polytechnic.  

This caused us to reflect on the endorsement process as a whole and the specific feedback we received on previous endorsements. Our traditional endorsement process gives confidentiality to interviewed candidates. This confidentiality hurts the quality of our endorsements because we cannot hold candidates accountable for their statements. The regular reporting process allows for non-confidential interviews, which gives additional freedom to reflect on candidate platforms. It enables discussion of a candidate’s stance on specific issues rather than a simple recommendation and a brief explanation. This is a more transparent way to both express the opinion of the Editorial Board and for our readers to get to know the candidates.

Our goal is to provide more thorough insight into Student Government elections and candidates so students can make informed decisions and vote for who they think can represent them best.

Please note that Brookelyn was not involved in the writing of this staff editorial, which reflects our staff’s genuine desire to serve our campus in a professional and unbiased manner.