Running for Student Government

Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you.

If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in limited government, individual rights, and free markets.

Once in office, your first temptation (if you have a coalition on your side) might be to punish your enemies and reward your friends. Don't. Remember, in all likelihood, you're in the belly of the beast. Your ability to influence others will be based on how they perceive you. Be a statesman, not a boar.

Depending on how much power your school grants to the student government, you may have a real opportunity to raise awareness about issues such as speech codes, student fees, course offerings, or general bias on campus. Whenever you can, push these issues to the forefront of the student body's thinking and encourage them to vote for freedom.

And on the topic of student fees, you may be tempted to try to get more money for interest groups with whom you agree. Resist. It is unjust to take from one student and then give to another. If there are areas that student fees can be used to legitimately benefit what is common to most students, things like the student union, then certainly consider supporting those efforts.

At the same time, are there other ways to find funding for a variety of projects and efforts that student fees go to? Of course. Rather than just trying to find ways to spend the student fee slush fund (which does happen on some campuses), perhaps you can find ways to refund students or reduce their fee burden in the future. Fight the establishment. Be a force for the individual.