The election results were announced for Temple Student Government Friday with ActivateTU winning the executive branch by 56 votes. Voter turnout for the executive election was 14.8 percent, which is slightly more than 2 percent above last year’s turnout.
Despite this increased turnout, nearly 30,000 students, or 85 percent, who were eligible did not. Too many students decided not to participate.
When The Temple News interviewed students for our Voices question in Features, students told our reporter TSG did not do enough to advertise the election to students. However, throughout the election TSG candidates actively posted about the election on Facebook class pages, spoke to student clubs and organizations, sent out emails to class email lists and campaigned at the Bell Tower. On April 4 and 5, TSG also set up voting tables in the Student Center to encourage students to vote.
The current TSG administration as well as both ActivateTU and ConnectingTU sufficiently sought to make students aware of this election. It appears as though the real problem with low voter turnout is student apathy.
But students can’t afford to be disinterested in who holds student office. The decisions student leaders make will impact their lives whether they chose to cast their ballot or not.
TSG was involved with advocating for gender-neutral housing. Next fall, students will have this housing option available to them.
Throughout the academic year, various columnists have written about issues affecting students on Main Campus — including problems with the shuttle service Flight, long waits at Tuttleman Counseling Services and misunderstandings about how TU Alerts work.
TSG can advocate for changes to solve these issues.
But if students aren’t choosing their elected officials, how can they be sure their concerns will be addressed?
The Temple News encourages students to take more interest in student government and to take advantage of the opportunity to share their voices when TSG reaches out.