To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Student Union elections have low voter turnout

The spring student elections showed low voter turnout as just 603 of approximately 3,570 students cast votes. Students were sent a link to the online voting, which was held on Jan. 22. Voting took place for eight open senate seats and four open A-board seats. Election winners were announced in a follow-up email on Jan. 23.

Less than one fourth of Brandeis students voted in the spring elections. The class of 2018 showed the highest voter turnout, with approximately 21 percent of the class participating in the voting, while the Class of 2019 had the lowest voter turnout, with 13 percent of the class voting. The voter turnout of the Class of 2017 wasn’t much larger, with 14 percent of students voting, and the Class of 2016 had a voter turnout of 19 percent.

Alona Weimer ’18 did not vote in the election because she “felt that the fall election was the main election,” and that the spring election “wasn’t that important, unless you were a midyear.” Weimer also said she did not vote because she “didn’t know anyone” running, a point echoed by Jonathan Burdo ’18 and six other sophomore students. Burdo suggested that candidates “send out some information about themselves.”

Other students suggested that candidates hold rallies or utilize social media to spread awareness and inform students of their message. Radhika Jangi ’18, who did vote in the election, said she chose to do so because she knew Cacildia Cain ’18, now Class of 2018 senator.

There were no official candidates, and only five votes were cast in the election for Midyear Senator, meaning less than five percent of midyears voted for their student representative in the Senate. Vincent Lauffer ’19 won the position with two write-in votes. Of the five votes cast, three were write-in votes and two were votes for abstain, a vote of no-confidence. Abstain has to be the majority vote for it to be the “winner,” according to the Student Union bylaws, and two out of five is not a majority.

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