Low voter turnout for SGA elections

Lauren Owens, Content Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) held the 2016 fall elections for freshmen and upperclassmen senators on Sept. 20 and 21, receiving 200 votes from the student body.

According to the Assistant Dean of Students Dr. Daphne Carter-McCants, the low voter turnout occurred because students are still getting used to classes and were unaware of the election.

The voting took place in the breezeway between Founders Hall and Cauthen Educational Media Center during the academic school day.

Freshman Charles Jeffcoat said that he was unaware of who was running for office and because of that he was hesitant to vote.

“I just saw there were fliers letting me know there are elections coming up,” Jeffcoat said. “I’m just a freshman. I may not know everybody.”

Jackson McDonald, senior mathematics major, said that he was unable to participate in the elections because he was in class during the voting times.

McDonald said it would be easier to vote if there were more voting sites or a more central location for students to vote.

Some FMU students said they are unaware of what SGA does on campus.

“To be honest, I’m quite unaware of it because I’ve never really felt much presence of the SGA,” Evan Ross, sophomore chemistry major, said. “I’ve seen them at the opening events at Francis Marion this year, but that is about it.”

Ross said he has never voiced any of his opinions to the SGA because he never really felt like his opinion mattered.

According to Carter- McCants, it’s the student body’s job to let students know the election is taking place.

“For the spring elections we hope that the student body will help us to spread the word about elections to increase the turnout,” SGA President Freddricka Pressley said.

Seven upperclassmen senators and five freshmen senators were elected for the 2016 school year.

The upperclassmen were Shamaine Gentile, Teshaylia Kitt, Glennie Tanner, Sierra Patrick-Williams, Jovan Kindred, Deja McClain and Deana Tanner.

The freshmen were Dominique Edwards, Kaitlin McCray, Shayla Osborne, Marshevis Ellington and Kiari Moore.

In an online letter to the student body, Pressley said that SGA is dedicated to serving the students. They work with campus safety, transparency and sustainability, student organization funding and overall student success.