SGA elections still leave seats empty

Jessie Hellmann

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Student Government Association (SGA) elections, which wrapped up early Saturday morning, left 93 percent of positions open and had votes from 7 percent of the entire student population.

Nine USI students ran for office and were elected, leaving 47 open positions, said newly elected SGA President Zack Mathis. He said a full administration would have 56 members, but that is with every college fully represented.

“We definitely have a great opportunity to go out and get some new faces in our General Assembly,” Mathis said. “We will be talking to organizations on campus so that they have a stronger voice within SGA, reaching out to students that are interested in being involved in a great organization and are looking for something to develop their leadership skills, and we will have a strong outreach program to incoming freshmen this fall.”

Adam Brothers, SGA chief justice, said he takes a lot of the blame for the low voter turnout and lack of students running because he is in charge of elections.

“This year was kind of chaotic in a sense because this is my first semester being chief justice, and we had a lot of computer problems,” Brothers said. “ All of the files from past elections, everything that I needed to use and go by was lost. So, I had to make everything from scratch.”

Brothers, who will be SGA chief justice next year as well, said for the next election he will focus on more communication.

“(We’ll focus) on communication and outreach and really engaging the students,” Brother said. “We do a lot of that now, but there’s definitely room for improvement.”

He said the 7 percent voter turnout was probably because of the short election week, due to Good Friday and Easter.

“It’s after spring break – people have spring fever,” Brothers said. “They’re not really involved.”

He said the winners will be inaugurated April 11, and afterwards, the president, Mathis, can open the floor for vacancy applications, which means students can apply for a position that wasn’t filled from the elections.

There was only one contested position: vice president.

Brian Anslinger, double major in business administration and marketing, was re-elected as executive vice president with a vote of 56 percent against candidate Travis Dickison, a former SGA representative and health services major.

The VP position was the only contested position in this year’s SGA election.

“I would like to say thank you to all my friends, supporters and to all the students that voted for me in the SGA election,” Anslinger said in a statement on his Facebook account. “Next year is going to be a year of continued progress, and I will endeavor to continue to serve the student body to the best of my ability.”

He said if any students have questions or concerns to stop by his office.

Dickison said he doesn’t have plans to return to SGA.

Zack Mathis, 2012-2013 SGA College of Business Representative was elected SGA president in an uncontested victory.

“I’m excited for this great opportunity and would like to thank everyone that participated in this year’s elections through candidacy and voting,” Mathis said. “While my position was uncontested, I appreciate all of the support I had leading up to the election.”

He said becoming SGA president has been one of his goals since coming to USI.

“Now I will be able to be more effective in making positive changes for the student body,” Mathis said. “I encourage everyone to share any ideas or concerns they have so that we may work together to make USI an even greater place.”

The rest of the winners can be viewed at http://bit.ly/17bCCmG

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