Student Government, Inc. elections are less than two months away, so it is time for a heads up, a warning or a plea for SGI to reach out to the student populous. It would be a crying shame if we had another 428 voter turnout, as we did in last years elections.
SGI, just like any other student-run organization, maintains a small group of active students looking to take on leadership roles. However, SGI, unlike any other organization on campus, allocates funds for University events and votes on budgets for student organizations. In monetary terms, SGI has a $1.1 million budget at their disposal.
There needs to be a few changes for SGI to get a presidential election that succesfully represents our campus. There are so many factors to take into account when predicting a winner: which candidates live on campus, if there are any students running from Greek Life, which organizations the candidates are from, and what racial background each calls their own.
Candidates generally get more votes when they have more connections than the others. If they are in a fraternity, they will probably win the Greek vote. If they live on campus, they are more likely to have friends that live in the Residence Village, so they will probably win the resident vote.
Considering the kind of reasons college students vote for candidates, like popularity and familararity, SGI needs to level the playing field for its candidates.
There was much to say about where the voting booths were located last year, and after much debate, SGI decided to place the lone booth in the library- a location that attracted less students than a rap concert at a nursing home.
Ideally, two booths should be located in Marillac cafeteria and Montgoris cafeteria, respectively. That way, SGI gives the bulk of the residents roaming through Montgoris and a large commuter population at Marillac the opportunity to vote. At some point during the day, most students pass through one of the two cafeterias.
No matter where the booths are located, SGI still needs a way to open itself up to students, most of which have little to no knowledge of how the most powerful student organization on campus works.
St. John’s student-wide apathy sadly reflects some of the same indifference demonstrated by SGI, as they have failed to meet quorum numerous times over the past semester.
The members of Student Government have to expand their organization past the confines of their office in the University Center. They need to draw students into their organization through marketing, and they need to draw more than 428 students at this year’s elections.
Where’s the Public Relations and Research and Development Commitees when you need them?
If you care to be represented properly, get involved in SGI- or at least vote.