Low Student Engagement Prevails in SGA Elections

Student Government Association (SGA) elections are now over, and it’s time to welcome the next group of student representatives.

Shepherd had a total of 140 students vote in this year’s elections through the Sakai site using the Student Voice quiz option. Running unopposed, Logan Sigley, this year’s SGA treasurer, will be the SGA president for the coming school year. Also unopposed, Graham Scott will become the SGA vice president for the 2014–2015 school year. The new leadership will select students to fill the rest of the positions on the SGA that are not elected positions.

The senior class president had three candidates running for the position: Rose Tribby, Tom Jones, and Elizabeth Johnson. Elizabeth Johnson was elected as the senior class president. During her campaign, Johnson said that if she were to be elected, she would take this opportunity to make greater strides toward social change among the classes, and that she would strive for gender equality and educate the younger classes on many of the great social issues of our time.

One of her goals is to have exit counseling for seniors and to work with different offices on campus in order to provide job opportunities in the area for all majors. Johnson also feels it is vital to instill a “sense of pride in who you are as a person, so I would work on programs geared towards positive self regard.”

She has found that some seniors graduate without ever attending social functions put on by the Student Affairs offices on campus or by Residence Life, and would increase the amount of informational flyers put out in order to provide seniors with those opportunities that they are missing out on.

Other positions voted on through the Sakai site were the junior class president, sophomore class president, and seats on the Student Life Council. No candidates ran for junior class president, and Tyler Kambis won an unopposed race for sophomore class president. Three of the four available seats on Student Life Council were filled by Ni Sung, Shane Short and Tyler Kambis.

Allex Benedict, a sophomore English major and psychology minor, said that she did not vote in the election: “I would vote if I knew who someone was and had a clear idea of the impact they hoped to achieve such as a parking garage.” Benedict stated that she wasn’t sure what all of the elected positions did and wished there would have been an announcement that popped up as soon as she got on Sakai during elections to remind students to vote.

Andrew Devany, a senior recreation major concentrating in sports marketing, said that he did not vote in the election. “I genuinely don’t know what’s going on with elections. Perhaps if there was more exposure around campus I would vote.” Devany stated that he felt many students did not vote because they were either lazy or did not know who the candidates were. He said he might have voted if he had a chance to meet and talk to the candidates about their platforms during their campaigns.

Margaret Faiver, a junior English major, stated that she thought students didn’t often vote in the elections because “more and more students are commuters and the student body has become disconnected.”

An amendment to the Constitution was approved that will expel class presidents from the senate if they fail to attend senate meetings, ensuring that students fulfill the obligations of their elected positions.

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