By Shelby Gardner —

We are in the midst of Student Government Association elections. It’s time to decide if you’re going to vote. Whether you like SGA or not, you should reflect your opinion with your vote.

Some U of L students, like Eric Lynum, are simply not interested in voting. He hints that SGA’s approach to elections lacks clarity for students.

“I don’t really know a lot about the candidates. I don’t want to vote for someone who I don’t know much about,” said Lynum.

This outlook is likely because people don’t realize how SGA functions, or the power that SGA truly has.

Kayla Goodman, incumbent SGA Vice President for the School of Music counters this narrative.

“SGA speaks for the students at U of L. We listen to their struggles and we make resolutions to try and get more resources, make things that students feel would improve the university or change things that students have trouble with or view as an issue,” said Goodman.

Goodman lists off some things that SGA did recently to make changes in the school.

“SGA was instrumental in the SAC update and making it more accessible for students, the Cardinal Cabs to help with student safety, the water bottle fill-up stations in various locations across campus and the female menstrual product stations across campus, amongst many others,” said Goodman.

You may think that change would happen regardless of a student government, but Goodman disagrees.

“SGA has a pretty big say in what the university does. The resolutions made and passed through various boards and Senate go directly to a Provost or Dean to get feedback and to get it put into action.” said Goodman. “The university staff and faculty use SGA to get a more clear picture into what the students want or need to be successful and they take into account what is said in SGA to make the university a more student-centered place.”

It’s your right to vote or not.

Some students not directly involved in SGA think that student government is imperative to the intricate workings of our university. 

“In the last chapter meeting for my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, we had quite a few SGA candidates come and speak to us about their platforms. A lot of them I agreed strongly with. I don’t have much time left at U of L, but I definitely want to see some changes before I graduate,” said junior music performance issue Mackenzie Eck.

“I believe many of these candidates are capable of making a difference on campus. As a U of L student, I feel that it is my duty to vote so I can do my part in helping these changes be possible.”

It is especially crucial to vote for your specific school.

“Voting in SGA elections is very important. Councils from schools with large voter turn out tend to carry more weight in senate settings and often have a larger budget than councils who don’t,” said Goodman.

The students that we elect are responsible for representing the diversity, creativity, and rigor that our university cultivates. When you vote in a student government election, you decide who the faces of U of L are. You trust the decisions they make will enrich your own college experience.

Being active in college elections is also beneficial for being socially and politically conscious in national elections. According to the 2019 candidate bios, a little over 25 percent of candidates are political science majors. 

The SGA candidates are likely to be politically engaged, what about student voters? It is understandable that the students who take the time to cast their vote about who represents their school would do the same for their country.

Students have lots of opinions about their education. Vote in SGA elections starting on Monday, Feb. 18 until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 20. All students, regardless of college, will be able to vote for the “Top Four” University-wide officer positions: President, Executive Vice President, Academic Vice President, and Services Vice President.

Students in the following colleges will also be able to vote for their college council officers: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Business, School of Music, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, and Kent School of Social Work.