Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

More SGA voter turnout realistic

One of the most concerning events at Augustana during spring term  is the Student Government Association (SGA) election of the new student body president and vice president.
We cannot ignore the signs with the candidates’ pictures and messages whenever we pass by the OSL.
It is true that we can see the panels, but do we really pay attention to them—or the election, for that matter?
It is a fact that this year SGA is putting more effort in trying to garner people’s interest in the election.
We, as the students, have been bombarded with emails telling us to apply to be the next SGA president or vice president.
After the initial period, we then received even more emails telling us about the candidates’ profiles and persuading us to vote.
In an attempt to make the election seem more political and realistic, the candidates had a session to meet with the student body to promote themselves and secure more votes.
The voting period is extended to two weeks this year, as opposed to one week like the previous years.
Explaining these changes in the election procedure, this year’s SGA vice president said that she wanted to increase the voting turnout and make sure that every position has competition.
Last year, only 32 percent of the students turned in their votes for the election, showing a rather low interest in the matter.
This year, SGA’s goal is to increase the number of votes to at least 50 percent of the students.
In short, raising awareness is the reason for these adjustments.
There are some possible reasons for the students’ indifference to the election.
It could be because the students are unaware of the SGA’s impact on school policies.
Many students, when asked, are not sure what the role of SGA is on campus.
As a result, they cannot see how choosing the SGA president and vice president can affect their college experience.
More importantly, they are unfamiliar with the candidates.
Most of the candidates are involved with Greek life, which means they may already have gained influence from their respective fraternity or sorority.
However it doesn’t mean the rest of the students know about their standpoints and strategies.
Considering these reasons, it might be necessary that some changes be made to the election procedure.
Lucky for us, SGA has already implemented several innovations, some of which have proved to be successful in rectifying previous years’ shortcomings—namely the candidates’ meeting with the students.
The votes are yet to be counted, but it seems likely that SGA’s attempt to call for more votes will pay off.

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More SGA voter turnout realistic