In response to last week’s op-ed, “The need for the appearance of fairness in the event competition,”Lafayette College Student Government would like to take this opportunity to briefly address a few criticisms levied against us. To preface this, we take our roles as the stewards of student money seriously and have been more transparent than any previous administration in the ways resources are allocated. Thus, we value this exercise in defending our rationale.
First, a bit on how the five events were chosen. The events listed on the ballot were selected by a ranking vote of Lafayette College Student Government’s Representation Committee (a committee that John Walker ‘17, the winner of the competition, does not serve on). Seven requests out of the 14 received were disqualified due to significant lack of vision and/or a conflict with our policies (specifically, the fundraising clause)—the operative word in that sentence being vision. The committee did not judge these events based on detailed logistics, since the process allows time for logistical planning. Instead, it evaluated submitted programs based on the scope of the planners’ vision.
A note on the glitch of voting: We understand that some students had difficulty voting. Unfortunately, this was a software issue with Qualtrics and, after consulting with a Qualtrics representative, I decided a timely fix could not be implemented. Another part of the decision to not restart the vote was that we only required a sample size of n = 333, which is all that is needed if there are 2487 students and you desire a confidence interval of .05. With a sample size of n > 333, and a clear trend within the first day of voting (which, in my three years of experience, never changes over the course of an election), it is fair to say that the 427 students who voted are representative of the entire student body (and we’re 95 percent confident of that).
The condensed version of what I’m trying to say can be summarized (or tl;dr, as the kids call it) as such: While it might be tempting to scandalize this event competition and charge us with nepotism, one cannot ignore the fact that nearly half of those who voted voted for Walker’s event and that Walker and Lafayette College Student Government were, at most, only 15 out of the 427 votes.
President of Lafayette College Student Government