Students must vote in executive elections so all voices are heard

By Mohammed Taha Faridi

Students should vote in the Student Association executive elections so they can have representatives who will voice their opinions to NIU administrators.

The SA’s main job is to allocate $7 million in student fees to cover the needs of students. That $7 million should be spent according to and for students, and more students voting means more students will have input on where that money goes. Only 2,600 students voted last year and the SA is aiming to bringing in 5,000 this semester.

That 2,600 is about 13 percent of the 19,507 students who were enrolled during the spring 2014 semester. When the SA makes a decision, it should be making it on behalf of all students — not just 13 percent.

“I think a really important part of not just school life but life in general is exercising your right — your political right — to vote,” said SA Elections Commissioner David White. “I think it’s really important to make sure that your voice is heard.”

If students have problems with things like parking permits, buses or program cuts, the SA can work with NIU to change things. For example, the SA is currently creating the Barsema Express bus route to get students to and from Barsema Hall. The SA took into consideration the concerns of students who talked at a Feb. 11 focus group about having trouble getting to and from the building and worked to help them.

“It’s important to pick your student leaders. All students should have their voice heard and they really aren’t if they’re not going out to vote,” said SA Speaker Dillon Domke.

To improve voter turnout, the SA implemented online voting, which shows it is trying to accommodate all students and their schedules. To vote at a polling station, students will just need to swipe their OneCards and vote.

Voting isn’t a hard thing to do, but it is a big deal. By voting, students exercise their basic rights and make an effort to choose the best representative to be the voice of students.