The usual apathy that clouds UM student government elections seemed to have lifted during the three voting days for elections 2002 this week.
“We had about 150 people vote today,” said ballot monitor Sandy Angel. “And the numbers have been up all week.”
With over 20 candidates running for the various offices, reading the ballot was as difficult as choosing a flavor at Baskin-Robbins.
Wednesday was by far the busiest day for voting, as it was students’ last opportunity to decide who will be running the University next semester.
Renee Dickens Callan, advisor of the SG elections committee, said they usually expect about 800 students to vote, but this year it has been much higher.
“It’s a student thing,” Callan said. “Kids are getting out and becoming more involved. This entire project [the election] is pretty much student-run.”
Voting is one of the best ways individuals can influence the decisions that are made regarding student issues.
However, 800 votes out of an undergraduate student population of 13,197 represents only six percent of students.
“I had no idea about it,” said student Jessica Fine. “I don’t have to walk by the breezeway very often, so I guess I missed it.”
Commuter student Paul Saca said he felt that decisions made by SG do not seem to affect students living off campus very much.
“I really don’t care,” Saca said. “As long as I get to learn, it doesn’t matter what else happens.”
Other students complained that they did not know enough about the candidates to make an educated decision and therefore did not vote at all.
“I honestly don’t know much about the candidates, except my friend JD, who I voted for,” said student Rachel Ingram.