Montell qualified to lead SG despite lack of competition

An endorsement when there is only one candidate to choose from may seem like a moot point.

It’s not. Hopefully the lone Student Government presidential candidate, Tyler Montell, and his running mate, Grant Mills, realize this as well.

This board could have chosen not to endorse Montell. But even though there is no other platform to compare Montell’s to, there is no reason to expect a poor performance from Montell.

It is unfortunate that no other candidate is running. The biggest losers are the students, who will not have the opportunity to examine and select which platform they prefer for the future of their campus. This year’s race for SG president will have votes, but the counts won’t matter. Montell is essentially guaranteed the office. In any democracy, even small, local ones, a collection of diverse ideas is critical for progress. That is missing in this election.

It is also important to note that under the circumstances, the student body and SG was very lucky in having the sole candidate be someone who is very qualified.

Montell has been involved with SG for two years, including this year as the Senate president. He cites experiences with the past two SG presidents as another reason he will work well in the office. And a smooth transition, promised by SG President Nick Phelps, from this administration to the next one should set Montell up for a productive year.

His ideas for campus, such as increasing the funding the Senate can give to campus groups, seem motivated by a genuine commitment to better UK. Other efforts, like creating a stronger campus community by rewarding students for attending campus events, could be innovative enough to succeed or at least build to future successes.

Montell should realize, however, that because of his lack of opponents, he has more to prove than any other SG president in recent memory.

In past elections, there has been a winner selected by voters. Barring a massive write-in success, whether 26,000 students or 200 vote for Montell, he will be in office at the end of the year.

He has much to prove not only to students who may not support him but to all who did not have the choice of whom to support. He will not have the benefit of being vetted in the election process like past presidents.

Ensuring the return of a choice in next year’s presidential election should be a priority for Montell’s administration. Increasing involvement and the diversity of ideas in SG can only benefit campus. And next year, students and SG might not be so lucky to fall back on a lone candidate as qualified as Montell.