The Southeastern Louisiana University Student Government Association (SGA) held voting for the SGA constitutional revisions and homecoming court elections Monday, Sept. 27 through Wednesday, Sept. 29. Voting was open to all SLU students and votes were cast online.
Of the students who campaigned for the court, Jerel Butler, Brett Farlow, Adam Kendrick, Christopher McKinley, Christopher “CJ” Robinson, Matt Taylor, Casey Thomas, Keturah Green, Olivia Landry, Deann Lemus, Jessica Poumaroux, Sherika Tolliver, Jenae Ratell, and Amanda Rivault were elected.
Homecoming court elections were formatted differently this year, limiting campaigning to verbal and online communication.
“This is the first year we went to strictly verbal campaigning,” said SGA election board chairman William Takewell. “You can campaign on Facebook and through e-mail, which was very interesting in itself because students got very creative with the way they campaigned.”
Although a paper trail was eliminated, students could be seen campaigning online via Facebook groups, e-mails, and even YouTube videos. According to SGA adviser Beth Richardson, the election was an improvement on last year with SGA reaching their goal of 2,500 votes . “We trumped it by 300 votes which means that’s 300 more people that showed up to vote,” said Takewell.
In addition, students were able to vote on revisions to the SLU Constitution. Of the 3,255 votes cast, 2,023 voted on the constitutional revisions, passing them. In order to increase votes for SGA issues, Takewell suggested having teachers involved in pushing issues to get students to care more. “[The] SGA is in here making huge decisions sometimes for the students,” said Takewell.
The SGA made strides in having voting more accessible to students by placing voting stations in the student union and voting available online, however there were less votes cast for the constitutional revisions.
“I think it was definitely a building year, kind of a guinea pig elections,” said Takewell. “We try to get out there and just get people to vote. Get them informed which hasn’t been done very much in years prior.”
With voting closed, the homecoming court will be gearing up for the SLU football game against McNeese State Oct., 23. while the SLU Contitution revisions will go into affect for the Fall 2011 semester.
“It’s a new thing, its completely different,” said Takewell about the elections. “I’m glad that people actually want to learn more about it.”