Students Sound Off about the SA Elections

Last week, Student Assembly elections took place, and Yohance Whitaker (’16) and Catie Pinkerton (’16) were elected SA President and Vice President respectively. Each class also elected Senators to represent them in the Student Assembly. But the voter turnout was low this year, lower than it was last year, reported the Flat Hat (source), “Voter turnout for the election was 28.3 percent — a 17.2 percent decline from last year. Out of 8,338 eligible voters, only 2,359 participated in the election.” I asked students what they thought in order to gauge student opinion about the elections and low voter turnout. Below are student responses and opinions.  

Source

“No one votes for Student Assembly because no one cares—they can’t do anything anyway.” –Student, Class of 2015

"I voted because I'm a Gov major, and I realize the impact voting can have on a local community. I think people don't vote because they doubt the impact SA has on the community and it’s up to SA to change that image now." –Abby Newell, Class of 2018

“It’s kind of shocking that at a school where so many people are government and history majors, and study low voter turnout and its causes and effects, that so little people would vote in the SA elections.” –Student, Class of 2018

“I did not vote. I was given minimal choice and minimal information. Candidates should work to make the assembly more accessible; turnout is low because no one knows what it does and candidates are not visible in or outside the assembly.” –Mark Russell, Class of 2017

“In the “real world,” voting is considered a civic duty because we need to play a part in shaping our future. On campus, voting is important for the same reason: engaging in the politics and culture of The College enables change. Student Assembly is a part of that.” ­–Kat Mail, Class of 2018

“SA provides a lot of important resources on campus, so I felt like it was important for me to vote on who the leadership should be.” –Valerie Tran, Class of 2016

“I voted because I like to have a voice on things that go on in campus, even though I feel like student assembly doesn't have a lot of actual power.” –Stephen Boscolo, Class of 2017

“I did vote in the elections, since it is the easiest way to make your voice heard on campus in terms of change you'd like to see in the student body, but I did notice that quite a few people were not aware of the elections until the day of or even afterwards. Some of the residents on my hall were surprised when they got the email in their inbox!” –Kaleigh Smith, Class of 2017

Will the newly elected officers change the way that Student Assembly is viewed on campus? Only time will tell. 

Cover Photo Source