Turnout down in SU Senate, Treasury, ArtSci elections
Student Union announced the results of their Nov. 6 fall elections on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
The election filled all open Senate seats, 10 of the 11 open Treasury seats and one ArtSci Council seat, leaving five spots open on the council.
According to SU Election Commissioner Achint Rai, voter turnout was lower this cycle with 1,138 total ballots cast, yielding a 17 percent voter turnout rate. Approximately 24 percent voted in the previous Senate election.
“There are many reasons for [the lower turnout] I think, one of those primarily being that the midterm elections kind of took away [from Student Union elections],” Rai said.
Besides the effect of the midterm elections, Rai also attributes this drop to the time of the year. He believes that spring elections have higher stakes for students.
“I think in fall semester, in general, there tends to be lower voter turnout,” Rai said. “With spring elections, that can be Senate and Treasury again, there are also some block-funding initiatives that are in place, SU exec is up for reelection.”
Despite the lower turnout, more people ran for Senate and Treasury this semester than in the past. Last semester’s Treasury election had seven people run for 13 seats, compared to the 10 people running for 11 seats this semester. This year, the Senate election had 15 people run for 11 seats.
“While the turnout wasn’t great, the candidates and the races were more competitive,” Rai said. “I guess it balances out.”
Because five ArtSci Council positions went unfilled, SU will open applications to fill the empty seats.
With the second-largest number of votes, sophomore Sophie Scott was re-elected this semester after starting her position in the Senate last fall.
“It feels great to know that the initiatives I’ve been working on and continue to work on are supported by students and that students like to see the projects that I’ve completed and my future vision for Senate,” Scott said.
Like Scott, sophomore Tyrin Truong was re-elected to the Senate. One of his goals is to work with Treasury to provide more equitable funding for cultural and affinity groups.
“I feel like there are a lot of things that can be improved in a relatively short amount of time,” Truong said. “I’m looking forward to working on it.”