Turn in and turn out: SGA needs both candidates and voters

By Staff

April 9, 2014

We at The Griffon News have a confession to make.

We didn’t turn out to vote in March’s Student Government Association election.

All eight of our editors failed to do our civic duty when it came to choosing the coming year’s student representatives. In all fairness, the election at the top of the ticket -- the SGA president and vice president slate -- wasn’t contested. The slate representing the Western Activities Council also wasn’t challenged.

Even though we didn’t exercise our university-given privilege to vote, at least we’re in good company.

Only 209 other students chose to log in to their Goldlink account and click on their representatives at the top of the ticket. With a university that boasts a student body of around 5,500, that’s a pretty apathetic constituency.

Now, if none of our top-ticket races aren’t contested, then why vote?

That’s the wrong question. A better question would be, “Why aren’t we running?”

It’s hard to believe that there aren’t two other qualified upperclassmen that care about our university on this entire campus.

Maybe some of the candidates that ran for Senate (there were 25) could have, at the very least, given us a bit of a show as they competed for SGA’s executive positions. We just wish we would’ve been given the opportunity to make a choice between four qualified candidates.

It was refreshing to see a slew of Senate hopefuls on the ticket. The highest vote count received by a candidate was 63, a number attained by both Elie Moore and Tobias Pointer. Eric Toliver came in close to the top with 61. These students deserve serious recognition for getting out in their school community and reaching out to the students they’re supposed to represent.

At the bottom of the barrel sits four students who tied, bringing up the rear of the Senate heap. Austin Catron, Shae Fannon, Brandon Grieshaber and Jacob Teasley all earned 13 votes each. It’s sad that these students came in 50 votes behind their high-achieving counterparts, yet they still get the same reward -- a seat at the table.

Alexis Rivers, Brad Stanton, Charles Flemons, Katlynn Willard and Felecia Voss were the five who didn’t win the race. They all scored 10 or fewer votes. It would have been interesting if at least one of these candidates had received 13 votes as well; then we’d get to see what would likely be the lamest run-off of all time.

We hope that, next Spring, our entire university will take these elections a little more seriously. We’re bummed that the top of the ticket was so thin, and we think that Senate candidates should’ve worked harder to reach out and secure the votes of their peers.

Maybe the problem was a lack of advertising. Maybe it was a lack of candidates. All that matters is that our student representation matters, and we, as a unified constituency, should make the most of it.