Do UNF students care about Student Government elections?

Cori Santucci

Students can start voting for SG senators next week.Photo by Morgan Purvis

Student Government elections are set to occur March 6 and 7, and each party is making efforts to earn the votes of the student body–or the student body that votes, that is.

The voter turnout for the Fall 2017 election was 353 students, and last Spring’s election reared 2,478. With a population of 15,944, this is an extremely low turnout. Why?

Spinnaker held a Facebook poll over the weekend asking, “Do you care about Student Government elections?” The poll received 200 votes, and 65% of voters chose no, with only 35% choosing yes.

“I had a friend who ran who ran last Spring and I decided to support him and vote for his party,” sophomore Kenneth Smith said. “I voted more on the people than any actual issues.”

Smith stated he didn’t know elections were occurring until he was literally approached and told about them on the day of.

Elections are advertised on posters across campus and voting is available at multiple locations and online, so it is definitely easily accessible for students. Each party tables at Market Days and around campus offering their platform and educating possible voters on the issues they have deemed important.

SG has funded and backed countless initiatives across campus that make student’s experiences better, and they have the power to change even more. Osprey Voice surveys are compiled to truly have a good knowledge of what students want, and senators listen.

Political efficacy, the belief that one’s self can influence government, is lacking in today’s society, and students are no exception. Students are likely to believe their votes will not count when compared to the rest of voters, but when everyone feels this way, individual votes actually carry more weight.

Elections are tomorrow and Wednesday, and results come out Wednesday night. The numbers will tell if students feel empowered enough to come out and vote.

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