SA executive officer elections begin today at three locations

By Sara Adams

Voting for Student Association executive officers begins today, and while those running insist voting is important, many students are disinterested in the election.

While sitting on the steps of the Martin Luther King Commons among multiple election signs, listening to music and reading a book, junior economics major Jason Sherman said he isn’t planning on voting in the SA elections.

“I don’t know anything about the candidates,” he said. “I’m really not that interested.”

Freshman marketing major Mike Pavlick also is not voting because he doesn’t know about the SA, but if he did, he still wouldn’t vote.

“It’s not interesting,” he said. “The signs are all I see, and they’re not very eye-catching.”

While the signs around campus are prevalent, they may not give enough information to make an educated vote.

“The students don’t recognize the candidates and what they stand for,” said David Rusin, an associate professor in mathematical sciences. “When you see a candidate’s name in chalk on the sidewalk, it doesn’t show you what the [candidate] intend[s] to do or what [his or her] background is.”

Students tend to vote less than the general public in elections, Rusin said.

“They’re not experienced voters,” he said. “They don’t see that the elections matter at all. They also have less experience to be able to cut through the rhetoric and understand what the politicians are saying.”

Rusin also added this is not true in all cases – some students are among the most dedicated campaign workers.

Marcia Harrison, a junior clinical lab sciences major, plans on voting.

“I just think it’s important,” Harrison said. “They control a lot.”

Sophomore nursing major Jessica Korth also plans on voting.

“My friend is running,” Korth said. “I think it’s important. Plus I work on [the College Pan-Hellenic Council] committee, and they work on improving our budget.”

SA presidential candidate Raoul Gravel said if more people voted, it could have helped him in past elections.

“If you look at our results, we’ve been successful in the past,” Gravel said. “We were only 100 to 200 votes off from winning. We lacked having people on the ground that day handing out flyers and getting people to vote. The people that would have voted if they knew about it would have voted for a ticket with plans for the future and would be productive with their money.”

DuJuan Smith, current SA treasurer and SA presidential candidate, is hoping to have a good turnout. He encourages students to vote since student fees go toward a lot of what the SA does.

“Students should find out about each candidate and vote,” he said. “Students should be sure that the candidate they support represents them and what they want to see on campus.”

Students can vote today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center, DuSable Hall and Founders Memorial Library.