Only 618 students voted in last year’s Students’ Association elections. That’s about 14 percent of the student population. Fourteen Congress positions only had one person run; three positions had to have students appointed to them; and the election of senior class president was won by only two votes. As cliche as it sounds, your vote matters.
Voting for competent representatives matters because Students’ Association is in charge of issues that directly affect the student body.
Most importantly, SA is in charge of a budget that funds student organizations. This budget consists of a portion of your tuition. This budget funds groups such as the Shinnery Review, Wishing Well and the International Students’ Association – groups that are vibrant assets of ACU’s culture.
SA officers also decide what student groups receive money to attend conferences throughout the year. They have a direct say in what formative experiences the groups will have.
It matters who is elected to Congress because they have the ability to be a voice for the student body. They can, and do, work to make changes students want to see on campus. For years, SA worked with the university to allow dancing on campus. They organized events like the dodgeball tournament and SpringFest, and in the past, Congress has purchased Collegiate Cards that offer student discounts. Recently, they’ve worked to make Wildcat Cash available off-campus and to organize a candlelight devo for graduating seniors.
Elections for next year’s SA cabinet officers are approaching and officer campaigns will begin soon. Though SA doesn’t leave much time for candidates to build platforms and convey them to students, attending the SA debate and reading Optimist coverage of the race can help you have informed opinions. With the new, online voting system, even the laziest students don’t have an excuse not to vote in the upcoming SA elections.
SA calls themselves an “extension of the ACU student body.” But if ACU’s campus continues to neglect sharing their opinion through votes, Congress will struggle to act as that extension. SA is spending your money on student groups that affect campus – make sure they do it responsibly.