This year’s SGA election results are in showing a significant increase in voter turnout from the past couple years. Students have made their voices heard and have selected Engoma Fataki as the new SGA president and Nathan Scott as the executive vice president.
A total of 548 students voted in this election which is in sharp contrast to the 42 from last year’s election. One of the biggest reasons for the larger number could be that this was the first contested election in three years.
Fataki and Scott ran against Mazzie Boyd and Cameron Edmonson. Boyd and Edmonson were even backed by the previously elected Austen Hall and Evan Banks, but they still lost by nearly 100 votes.
Since both sets of candidates were very qualified and well known, the question of why Fataki and Scott were selected over Boyd and Edmonson is most likely answered by a different explanation. One explanation could be the amount of campaigning that was done by Fataki and Scott. Fataki was very open socially about his campaign. He was seen all over campus chatting about the elections with anyone who would listen and even dropped in at an RSO Thursday night to try to convince more people to vote.
Scott assisted Fataki in his campaigning by creating a website with a link you could click to vote that they sent out over mass email. He even sent out mass text messages trying to convince students to vote for Fataki and himself. Boyd and Edmonson, while on the Missouri Western snapchat and posting on their own social medias, were not as visible to students as a whole.
Another factor in this election was pointed out by Fataki during the debate. He said that he didn’t want SGA to be taken over by Greek life so that more voices could be heard. Bringing different groups into the debate helped encourage different voters to get involved, which may have helped with the number of students who voted. It is important to note, however, that even with the number skyrocketing, the overall turnout was still only about 10 percent of Missouri Western State University’s student body.
While competition between the presidential candidates encouraged more students to get involved, it would be curious to see if more senator competition would also lead to more voters coming out. After all, only 15 students ran for the 20 open seats, creating little competition. It will be interesting to watch future years to see if more competition on the ballot leads to more students voting.