“Associated Student Government elections are back, and just like the national presidential campaign, voting incentives, bulletin boards and e-mails are all inviting students to vote. The trouble is, most students are not sure what or who they are voting for.””
Associated Student Government elections are back, and just like the national presidential campaign, voting incentives, bulletin boards and e-mails are all inviting students to vote.
The trouble is, most students are not sure what or who they are voting for. This leads to the most commonly asked question heard by ASG: Why should students vote?
ASG President Kyle Bohland acknowledged this problem. He said elections are held to provide a chance for students to choose a representative to faculty, staff and, most importantly, administration.
Students get to choose who works on their behalf, Bohland said. ASG deals with issues that students are facing every day. The more students that vote, the more credibility the administration gives us.
The argument may be made that many of the elections this year are running uncontested.In fact, only three of the elections have more than one student running.
Bohland expressed his disappointment in the fact that there were so many uncontested races, but said the campus demographic is mostly made up of working students who are too busy to commit to many extracurricular activities on top of their course load.
We should have more students involved in our governing process, Bohland said. We should have more students who want to change the campus.
Jon-Michael Durkin, a Sen. from the College of Arts and Sciences added why ASG and its elections are important.
Voting helps increase awareness, Durkin said. By increasing awareness, then bridges are built between students and their representatives.
Yet, what exactly is it that ASG does to help students? According to Bohland, there are two major reasons why ASG is influential: committee participation and member-initiated projects.
Both Bohland and Durkin stressed committee participation as the key to impacting decisions made by the administration at the University of Akron.
For any issue you can think of, there’s a committee on campus formed specifically to deal with that issue, Bohland said. At least one member of ASG participates in each committee, and can be influential in pushing the student’s agenda.
Durkin said he is a part of three different committees – the parking committee, the recycling committee and the biking committee.
When ASG members are particularly passionate about a certain issue, they actually initiate their own projects, according to Bohland. A particularly successful project Bohland referenced was the safety-walk that ASG sponsored, in which students, faculty, staff and UA Police Dept. helped identify places that were unsafe for pedestrian traffic at night.
Already we have had results and changes, Bohland said regarding the walk.
According to both Durkin and Bohland, the ultimate goal of ASG is to work for UA students.
Students don’t really know that we’re out there, and that we want to help them, Durkin said.
Bohland agreed with him.
You have a degree from this institution, so while you’re here you should make the university and your program the best it can be, Bohland said.
Students can vote in the Student Union on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the polls close on Wed. at noon.