SGA underwhelmed by referendum turnout

SGA underwhelmed by referendum turnout

October 02
19:58 2014

Paul Wedding / Intern Writer

The Student Government Association succeeded in passing all three referendums during voting last week, but they failed to meet their goal of increasing the number of student voters.

All three referendums passed at only 3 percent of the student vote, when their goal was to have at least 10 percent. That goal was backed off the association’s initial goal of 40 percent.

“There were a lot of opportunities that played into the less than 10 percent turnout,” SGA president Troy Elliott said. “I think the major part on the Association’s end was the leadership decision by [vice president Kamaeron Willard] and I to hold the referendum election this early in the year. In hindsight, I would probably say that it would have been better suited to hold the election after more time to advertise the changes to the student body.”

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Melissa McGuire believes the removal of Homecoming from the ballot played a part in low voter turnout.

“If you look historically, after Homecoming was taken out of the mix, your turnout is always low,” she said. “If you aren’t part of the organization being voted on, there’s usually a low turnout.”

Many students that did not vote on the referendum were not aware there even was a vote, despite an notification being sent to every student’s university e-mail. Mechanical engineering sophomore Ryan Bishop was one of the many students unaware of the vote.

“I’d never heard of it,” he said. “I get so many emails from the university that I start to treat them as spam.”

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