As the school year starts to wind down, so begins the transition and adjustment period of Student Government’s new president and vice president, Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu.
Following in the wake of their hugely successful social media campaign — that played a large role in them winning over veteran SG shoo-ins Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi — comes a huge responsibility, that is to implement the change they spoke of on the campaign trail.
The stakes are now higher than ever for an SG president and vice president to deliver on campaign promises, especially with so many first-time voters being inspired to “rock the ballot” because of Rotnofsky-Mandalapu’s appeal to the average, underrepresented UT student.
If Rotnofsky and Mandalapu can keep these voters involved through the use of social media, then we at the Texan predict their term will be particularly impactful. Transparent clothing jokes aside, keeping students in the loop is crucial in order to maintain the loyalty of the student body and preserve the belief that the little guys should have a voice, too.
In order to avoid a schism between SG veterans and these newcomers, Rotnofsky and Mandalapu should take the time to learn the ins and outs of SG. They don’t have the experience that the typical SG president and vice president candidate typically have, and as much as we hate to say it, steps must be taken to remedy this inexperience in order to avoid tension. This action will have a two-fold result: one being to show current SG members they are committed to their new positions, and two, to demonstrate to UT’s student body as a whole that they are more than just two jokesters trying to make a political statement.
The reality of the present SG situation may call for fewer jokes, but certainly not less humor. It is important that these two strike a balance between being the funny guys and the guys that actually get things done. This past election was certainly one for the books, but Rotnofsky and Mandalapu are going to have to work twice as hard to win over opponents who weren’t wooed by their comedic charm. At the end of the day, not everyone is into humor. Rotnofsky and Mandalapu should keep these people in mind in order to expand their fan base, but take care not to lose the support of all those who liked their funny take on traditional campaign strategies.
With all eyes on them, including those of national news sources and comedy publications, the pressure is on. As the underdogs, they are expected to fail. Luckily for them, there is much left to be desired about Student Government as it currently stands. Just getting elected is the first of hopefully many refreshing changes to be made to the institution.