If Neighborhood Governance were a horse, the time for a mercy killing might be upon us. See below for the last, sad plea for more self-nominations that went out at noon on Saturday. The deadline was an hour ago. I wonder how things ended up. Judging from the note of desperation in this e-mail, I suspect the worst. Comments:

1) Why are we still using the term “Cluster”?! Can’t the College determine/decree that “Neighborhood” is the official term?

2) The nomination must now be “no more than 300 words.” This is better than previous efforts, but why require any words at all? (Note that the e-mail requires applicants to explain “why you would be a good choice.” Just focus on getting enough names to hold an election!

3) I still think that posting the names of nominees as they come in would increase participation. Assume that I have a vague interest in being treasurer in Wood. If there are three other nominees, I wouldn’t bother. If there was one, I would run. Since the powers-that-be are most interested in getting me to run in the latter case, they should do everything possible to get the facts out. It certainly couldn’t hurt to try this approach next year.

All we who love Williams want student life to be vibrant. Many of us argued that neighborhood housing would make things worse, not better. This election debacle is further evidence that our fears were justified. If your social engineering leads few students to seek leadership positions, then you ought to go back to the drawing board. The fault is in you, not in the students.

Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2006 12:10:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: Godfrey.Mutoro.Bakuli@williams.edu
Reply-To: Godfrey.Mutoro.Bakuli@williams.edu
Subject: Cluster Governance Board Self-Nominations Due TODAY!
To: students-07@williams.edu, students-08@williams.edu,

Now that we all know where we’ll be living next year, it’s time to think about how these neighborhoods are actually going to work. The number of self-nominations for cluster governance positions has been so low that the deadline has been extended until Saturday (TONIGHT) at midnight. Four positions are open for popular election in each neighborhood: President, Treasurer, Community Liaison and Historian. We encourage you to nominate yourself. This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself in a leadership role as well as to help reinvigorate the Williams social scene!

The roles of the neighborhood leaders will be what you make them, but all along the way, you will have the support and guidance of your peers, College Council, ACE and Campus Life. Moreover, you will have the ability to bring your neighborhood together in innovative ways and to make social life (not just parties) as great as Williams has ever known.

Please send a nomination of no more than 300 words to selfnom@wso.williams.edu by Saturday night. Include the position you are applying for, your neighborhood, class year, and why you would be a good choice. If you have any questions about positions, processes, or elections, please email Morgan Goodwin (08mjg).

We look forward to working with you next year!

Best wishes,

Godfrey Bakuli & Sura Tilakawardane
Council President and Vice President

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