SGA vote totals far lower than expected

By Andy Garrison

April 4, 2014

The Student Government Association election for the 2014-2015 term resulted in new members, the loss of old members and lower vote totals than in past years.

When elections closed on March 6, the number of votes for SGA president and vice president totaled to only 209, and the number of votes for Western Activities Council totaled to only 207.

In the Senate race, 639 total votes were cast. Each student had the ability to vote for up to three senators. The senate candidate that received the most votes had 63.

Four candidates received 13 votes each. Those students barely made the cut -- the candidates tied for 21st place each received 10 votes.

Senate member Reyhan Wilkinson, who received 44 votes, believes that the vote totals were low this year because of a lack of advertisement.

“I think that a lot of students did not really know about the elections because it was not advertised well, and part of that, I believe, has to do with not having a campaign for SGA president and vice president,” Wilkinson said.

Charles Flemons, who did not make the senate with only 9 votes, also believes that students did not know about the election, and that some students just are not involved.

“Although there was an email sent out, students still did not know about the election, and I only saw a couple senators actually campaign,” Flemons said. “It is also hard to get a large amount of votes, because there are a lot of students who are not very involved and may not care much about the election.”

Some newly-elected senate members like Tony Dougherty, who received 46 votes, think that other students need to be notified about the leadership positions.

“In the future, we need to figure out ways to notify other students about the leadership positions available around campus, Dougherty said. “That way, students can get the best out of their college experience, and it may even raise vote totals.”

Even with the low vote totals, new and current senate members have high hopes for the 2014-2015 senate.

“I think that we have more people willing to be active senate members,” Wilkinson said. “I think they will be very successful as long as they have the drive to be a productive senate.”

Flemons has the same belief in the new senate members.

“Their success depends on their willingness to be involved, and, out of the members that I know, they will be extremely involved and will be able to get a lot done,” Flemons said.

The current senate members will finish the semester, and the new senate will begin their term in the fall.