COGS should reform elections

The Council of Graduate Students is split over whether to elect its leadership through a student-ballot process, the Minnesota Daily reported Thursday.

COGS currently fills its president and vice president roles through an internal process, but a University of Minnesota office has advised the council to make the elections public. COGS President Andrew McNally is in favor of the change and said he’ll submit an application requesting an election.

The full council will take up the issue in an internal vote on Feb. 4.

The opposition to public elections from some COGS members seems counterintuitive to the goal of a student advocacy group, which is to be a unified voice for a large population.

Some members worried that reforming the elections would make it more difficult for COGS to accomplish its goals.

This seems as if some COGS members don’t want the “distraction” of an open election getting in the way of their own agenda. Especially as the group prepares to seek student services fees funding in the near future, it is crucial that COGS seeks out a broad range of student opinion.

One council representative told the Daily, “The graduate assembly elects leaders because they know who they are electing and what they are electing them for.”

But wouldn’t the entire University benefit more if the council sought to educate the student body of issues so they could make informed decisions and vote for their leaders?

We urge COGS to reform its election process for the good of the graduate student body.