Update on student government elections

Theories and solutions for low vote counts

By: Andrea Lenhart & Nick Vander Wulp | Torch Staff

With the recent Student Government elections, many students are questioning why there was only one candidate for president and such low voter turnout. Current President Josh Olszewski breaks down the facts.

“About 15 students returned to Student Government from last year, and currently we have around 40 members,” Olszewski said.

According to Olszewski, the majority of the students in Student Government are underclassmen that are looking for leadership positions, but may not have been ready to take on the role of president.

“It is a large commitment, and you have to make sure that it’s right for you,“ Olszewski said. “Patrick served on my cabinet as a treasurer. He’s been in the organization a while, so he was ready to take the position.”

As for the low voter rate, Student Government pushed the election process in many ways.

“We created a Facebook event for it, because we know many students are on Facebook,” Olszewski said. “We had posters, we are planning on sending a follow up survey and asking people why they did not vote, so hopefully we will be able to gather info so that next year we can disseminate info the way people want it.”

Olszewski thinks that one possibility for such low voter rates could be because there was only one candidate and the write-in process was not well-known to students.

“We’re not about endorsing one candidate over the other. We did our best to really say, ‘Here’s Patrick, here’s his platform and what he wants to run on, but also, here is the process of writing someone in,” Olszewski said.

According to Olszewski, in previous years there has almost always been more than one candidate.

However, Olszewski has higher hopes for election season in years to come.

“The president appoints their cabinet, which will likely be underclassmen, so hopefully after they hold a cabinet or even a committee head next year or years to come, they will feel like they can hold the president position,” Olszewski said.

Ferris hospitality management sophomore Maria Rodgers is looking forward to her next few years in Student Government.

“I plan on moving from my position as representative in Student Government as a senator for the college of business, and ultimately taking a position on the Executive Board,” Rodgers said. “Being a younger student in Student Government has given me an opportunity to watch some of the older members and their contributions towards Student Government.”

According to Olszewski, everyone that he has come into contact with wished they had gotten involved earlier in their college career.

“If there is any student out there who is thinking about doing anything, it doesn’t even have to be Student Government, just try it and see what happens,” Olszewski said. “The worst that could happen is that you step away and say ‘Well that’s not for me,’ and then you try something else.”