Article by: Keith Salowich and Nick Vander Wulp | Torch Staff
Just 59 votes were placed in this year’s student government presidential election, with only one official candidate in the running.
Ferris business administration and accounting junior Patrick Maloney won the student government election by tallying 52 votes. Voting for that position and for senator positions on student government was open from Tuesday, April 4, to Monday, April 10, through Orgsync.
There were seven total write-in votes including one vote for Bernie Sanders, though Maloney was the only individual to earn more than one vote.
“The biggest thing on my agenda for us in the campus is student engagement. I’m sure you’re aware of it, but we don’t get a lot of people voting in the election. I wish we could get more people involved. You can’t force people to vote, so you have to incentivize them to care,” Maloney said.
Last year, 217 students voted for student government president while 633 total votes were counted in 2014.
“We are planning to send out a survey to gauge why people didn’t turn out this year to vote, and whether it was the way we disseminate information,” current president and Ferris public relations senior Josh Olszewski said. “This year we created a Facebook event because a lot of students are on Facebook and that’s how they get their information. We also sent out a mass email about it, and we had posters. Maybe through this survey we can find if people would have liked more face-to-face? Would they have liked an information session where they could come and learn about it? Would they have liked tabling?”
Student government started the year with about 15 members and has since grown to approximately 40, according to Olszewski. Many of the new additions have been underclassmen, which may be a contributing factor to the shortage of candidates in this year’s election.
“I felt that someone needed to step up. So, I took it upon myself to get all the signatures and put in my application for it,” Maloney said. “For a position like the President, it’s good to have someone who knows the ropes. I don’t want to say we have a large turn over, but a lot of the members that we have this year who would be able to lead student government are graduating. So, I felt like I would be a good candidate to take the position.
In order to become a candidate in the student government presidential race an individual must attend 14 consecutive student government meetings and collect signatures from others endorsing them, according to Maloney.
Student government meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the University Center.
For a more in-depth look at Maloney and his goals as student government president, click here.