Less than a quarter of eligible students voted in last week’s Student Government Association executive elections. Of the 6,058 students eligible to vote, only 834 did vote, less than 14 percent.
This means that 5,224 Troy University students chose not to take an active part in electing the students who will be leading next year.
The common excuse is that the SGA doesn’t do anything and won’t affect anyone.
Failing that, independent students often say that the Greeks control the SGA and there will never be enough independent votes to change that.
The answer to the latter statement is simple. If the Greeks do have disproportionate representation and authority in the SGA, voter apathy among independent students does nothing to repair that.
If students are concerned about being represented in the SGA, they should be voting and encouraging their friends to vote.
If students aren’t concerned about being represented in the SGA, they should be.
The SGA is meant to serve as a voice and an advocate for the student body.
Students regularly complain about parking on campus, the quality of campus facilities, the cost of attendance, dining hall hours and dining options on campus and many other factors of university life.
Students who are concerned about these things should be pushing the SGA to advocate on the student body’s behalf.
However, many students will complain and still refuse to vote.
The SGA president is a non-voting member of the board of trustees. The president has the opportunity to speak for the students very directly with decision makers who can raise tuition and in-state fees.
Perhaps the most heard complaints on campus are about parking.
The current parking plan was developed and passed by the SGA last spring.
The SGA also proposed a new $125 fee to the board of trustees last spring. This fee will go to the development of a new recreation center.
Current SGA President Matthew Thompson, a junior accounting major from Montgomery, said that the SGA is currently looking into changing the dining hall hours to better accommodate the average student.
Applications for SGA Senate elections are available online. They are due Friday, March 20, at 4 p.m., and the next elections will be Wednesday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is an opportunity for students concerned with being represented by the SGA to stand up and be counted. Students with strong opinions about parking, dining and other things should consider running for office.
At the very least, all students should take the time to vote.
Current students can vote in Trojan Center Room 215, the SGA office. They must have their student IDs.