Considering that there are 14,000 plus students at Ferris State, Student Government’s goal for voter turnout is rather low.
“It is the goal of student government to increase voting participation by 100%,” Director of Internal Assessments Chris Cipko said.
Loosely, that goal projects to 600, a goal confirmed by Cipko. 600 students represents about 4.2 percent of the currently enrolled student population at Ferris.
“We want to make students aware that they have a choice whit it comes to who they want as their Student Government President,” Cipko said. “We are looking to increase transparency by increasing Student Government Awareness.”
This comes over a year after the Torch was forced to file for the election results under the Freedom of Information Act.
The current administration has promised that results will be available to the public within the week following the announcement of the new president.
Wayne Bersano and Dylan Carpenter, candidates for Student Government President, are actively campaigning in anticipation of election week, which starts April 6.
Bersano, a sophomore hotel and restaurant management major from Pinconning, is the current Student Government Vice President. He is campaigning while studying abroad in Germany.
Carpenter, a junior biology major from Flint, is the current Student Government Parliamentarian.
Voter turnout for Student Government elections is historically low. A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Torch last year revealed that incumbent President Andrew Kalinowski was elected last year with 181 of 272 votes; which is roughly 1 percent of the student body.
To help facilitate the voting process and increase voter turnout, Kalinowski appointed Speaker of the Senate, Chris Cipko and Speaker of the House, Mikaela Mason as Directors of Internal Assessment for the election.
“What we’ve found is that the voting process has been difficult in the past,” said Mason, a pre-pharmacy sophomore. “Students tend to give up and just not vote at all. This year, we’ve made it easier and a lot less time consuming.”
Voting takes place through a portal in OrgSync. Additionally, students will have the option of voting for senators in their respective colleges. So how long will it take to vote this year? Cipko estimates less than three minutes.
“The Student Government President will have a cabinet, house and senate that will represent the student body,” said Cipko, a healthcare system administration student. “We encourage students to vote and have a voice.”
To further engage students, a presidential debate is being held in University Center room 202 on April 6 at 8:00 pm. The debate will be facilitated by Mason and Cipko.
Mason agreed with Cipko that students’ votes are important to have a unified student body.
“Because Student Government represents the student body as a whole, it’s important to have your voice heard. Who do you want to represent you?” said Mason.
Voting for Student Government elections will begin on OrgSync on April 6 at 9:00 pm and close on April 12 at 11:00 pm. In efforts to increase votes, Student Government plans to have a voting booth in the IRC the week of elections. The new president will be inaugurated on April 20 during Student Government’s general assembly at 6:00 pm in University Center room 202.