SA voter turnout zooms past last year’s

By Keisha Howerth

More than 1,600 students voted in Tuesday’s Student Association executive elections, which is about 100 more than voted over two days in last year’s elections.

More than 1,500 students voted in the 2013 elections. About 750 students voted in 2012, and there were 1,189 votes cast in 2011. Voting is always held across two days, and it will continue today.

This year’s candidates promoted the elections through social media and by meeting with students in the Martin Luther King Commons. Voters were also offered T-shirts.

“More students are voting now after seeing the handbills,” said Tyler Whittier, junior corporate communications major.

Gladys Sanchez, junior special education major, said she hopes more students become aware of NIU’s student government.

“Student leaders should engage with other students on campus to create a better community,” Sanchez said.

Vice president candidate Raquel Chavez, junior political science major, said this year’s elections feature a close race filled with strong candidates. Chavez is running on the same ticket as president candidate Joe Frascello, treasurer candidate Husam Salem and student trustee candidate Paul Julion.

“We’re diverse and we’re passionate about NIU,” Chavez said. “We complement each other well.”

President candidate Randiss Hopkins, senior music education and jazz performance major, said he’s been meeting with students to create a more personal bond. Randiss is running with vice president candidate Nathan Lupstein and treasurer candidate Jennifer Mader.

“You have to know the students to represent them,” Hopkins said. “It’s been a great experience meeting more students and learning from them.”

Ron Lunadon, who was hired to help with the election, said a lot of students came out for the T-shirts.

“We’re running out of shirts,” Lunadon said. “There probably won’t be any for [Wednesday].”