Past and present

The following is an excerpt from an article in the 1972 of the Lanthorn headlined “Low Turnout at Elections” by Barbara Cullinane. You may think that this year’s Student Senate failed in its attempt to draw out more students to vote in its elections, but, as this article will show, it is not an issue specific to today:

Student and community office elections were
held on Monday, May 15. About 10% of the
campus population took part. This means a
turnout of 750. The votes were expected to be
tallied by 10:00 the same evening. They weren’t
finished until two days later, however. That’s
because there weren’t enough people to count
votes. At most there were two students at a time
to count votes, and that’s if EXCO was lucky to
persuade that many.

Fraternities and sororities usually take over the
elections by putting up people to run for the three
main offices: President of EXCO, Vice President
of Campus Life, Vice President for campus
activities. This is probably the only reason that
a majority of the votes are cast, in support of
fellow brothers and sisters. Individual students
can’t seem to get it together to support their
community government …

… There was no excessive campaigning this
year, in fact, most students probably were not
aware that there was an election. The extent of
campaigns consisted of posters scattered about
in opportune places, and a few tactics on election
day. There was nothing of particular notice to
inspire students to support the cause. Perhaps
the truism that it’s a hopeless cause was further
appreciated this year …

… There is no great trick to winning a student
election. No great majority is needed, students
can and have been elected by a majority of one.
One student was elected to the CAS senate with
a total count of nine votes, they were all write-ins.
He was informed by mail that he had won, but
never heard (or did) anything about it after that.
Basically, the trick is not popularity, just having
your name in more places. Perhaps having a nice
name helps too, since most students don’t know
who they’re voting for, anyway.