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In low-turnout election, Temple United wins

Darin Bartholomew will become student body president next semester.

Temple United won the 2013 Temple Student Government executive election and will serve during the 2013-14 academic year.

Student Body President-elect Darin Bartholomew, Vice President of Services-elect Cree Moore and Vice President of External Affairs-elect Sonia Galiber were announced the winners at 12:30 p.m. on April 11 in TSG’s office.

“I think we ran a great campaign, we kept everything positive, and my whole team did great,” Bartholomew said.

Temple United received 1,344 votes, while opponent Diamond Nation earned 719 votes with 12 abstentions.

The ticket’s immediate plans are to meet with officials to discuss making Owl Cards an acceptable form of payment for SEPTA transportation, to plan the logistics for the book share program and to meet with the current administration, Temple Advocating Progress.

One of the key points of Temple United’s platform was working with SEPTA to accept the Owl Cards as a form of payment when the transportation company transitions to a contactless payment system that uses radio frequency identification technology.

“I think that is brilliant. I really think that will be a great idea,” freshman art major Savannah Kramer said.

Temple United will also begin meeting with the current administration, led by current Student Body President David Lopez, to learn about the TSG executive positions.

“They put in a lot of effort to make sure that we can transfer smoothly, more smoothly than ever before, and I want to make sure that we are able to fulfill that vision that they had,” Bartholomew said.

This year’s voter turnout decreased by 22 percent from last year’s executive election. A total of 2,075 votes were cast this year, which includes 12 abstentions, compared to 2,647 last year, not including abstentions.

This is the fourth straight year voter turnout has decreased in the TSG executive election. In 2009, 3,944 students voted, marking the most votes in executive election history.

Lopez was surprised at the decrease in voter turnout.

“I will say that I am surprised that the turnout is lower this year than last year. I was surprised and I would have liked to see more students vote in the election,” Lopez said.

Lopez attributes the timing of the election – namely Easter weekend falling in the campaign period and the poor weather during the first week of the campaigns – as possible reasons for the decrease.

However, Lopez recognized that the decrease in voters also falls back on the tickets and how they reach out to the student body.

“Maybe we could have done a little more campaigning, a little more promotion on our end. I really don’t know, it is hard to say,” Bartholomew said.

Elections Commissioner Fallon Roberson-Roby was also surprised at the decrease in voters considering the presence of polling places on campus.

“On the elections side, one thing that we did that I really got a lot of positive feedback on was the polling locations,” Roberson-Roby said.

Freshman art major Christina Danielson resides in Johnson and Hardwick, a location of one polling place and said she noticed the table but did not vote in the election.

“Outside my dorm there were people asking us to vote, but I didn’t really know much about it,” Danielson said.

Danielson, along with Kramer, noticed the email sent from TSG regarding the election but were unaware that both tickets had Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“In the future, I think that is something that Temple Student Government will have to work on as a whole,” Roberson-Roby said.

Laura Detter can be reached at laura.detter@temple.edu. 

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