Voting will be held online until Friday
The UCSU elections began Monday and if last year’s turnout is any indication of this year, only a small percentage of students will cast a vote.
UCSU implements and oversees a $34 million budget made up mostly of student fees, bigger than any other student government budget in the nation. Although UCSU manages a portion of every student’s tuition, the election of executives for the job is not high on the priority list of most students.
Some believe that student apathy toward voting is caused by a lack of confidence in what UCSU does with students’ fees.
“I vote, but I think most students don’t because they don’t think much is accomplished by the student government,” said Roane Buja, 21, a junior English major. “I think the candidates always say a lot about the big important plans they have if elected, but students know that politicians don’t always keep their word.”
Last Spring, almost 23 percent of CU’s nearly 28,000 students voted in the student body government elections.
Elections are advertised beginning ten weeks prior to each election.
The official position of election commissioner is held to ensure effective and fair UCSU elections and to promote a large voter turnout.
“I think that the majority of students do not know how much power and capacity for positive effect UCSU wields, and so they do not get involved,” said Sean Daly, the current election commissioner.
Some students agree with Daly.
“I don’t vote because I don’t know the issues well enough,” said Desiree Osburn, a senior integrative physiology major. “I don’t think that student government affects me very much.”
Another student with a similar outlook on student elections is Tim Stanton, a senior architectural engineering major. He has voted once in his four years at CU.
“I’m not sure that UCSU has the power to change much about how this school is run,” Stanton said. “At least not anything I’ve heard of.”
With the help of the election commissioner, UCSU is hoping for a larger student turnout this week than last spring.
“I expect a better turnout than 2007 because we’ve been doing quite a bit more outreach than my predecessor,” Daly said. “We’ve got more banners up in more places, more attractive advertisements, yard signs that were put up sooner, more table tents, more letters, and so on.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Sarah Ruybalid at email@example.com.