Even at the University of Wisconsin, student elections have had relatively low voter turnout.
Regardless, turning out and voting is crucial.
For every election that is not a presidential race, there is a an unspoken question about whether these elections are important, and how they affect students. “Why vote for city clerk, what can they do? What do midterms even mean? Student government isn’t that important, is it?” are all questions that people ask every day about almost every election that they seem come up. Is it really worth taking the time to vote in these elections?
The answer is always an astounding “yes.” The leaders elected to student governments, in our case Associated Students of Madison, make decisions that impact every student on this campus. If you are taking a select class, your cost of textbooks might be significantly less than what you expected, because of a new program ASM is working on. Our Wisconsin, the diversity training new students have to take, which has taken on the challenge of creating a more inclusive campus, was started by an ASM intern who is now the current Chair of Student Council.
When ASM leaders meet with the administration about the proposed meal plan, or how to allocate student segregated fees, they make sure they are representing the students who they were elected to represent. But, with only around 9 or 10 percent of students voting every year, ASM cannot truly represent the ideas of the entire student body.
Regardless of your opinions on the meal plan, Our Wisconsin, segregated fees, shared governance, textbook costs or any other issues you see daily, it is imperative that each student votes for the student representatives that will best represent the view of the student body.
To see the candidates running within each school, check out this candidate matrix here: https://asm.uwsc.wisc.edu/matrix/
Voting is open until March 14, 2018, at this website: https://asm.uwsc.wisc.edu/
Larry J. Sabato said “Every election is determined by the people who show up.” Every UW student has the power to shift the paradigm of ASM leadership through elections, so make sure to show up to the polls.
Yogev Ben-Yitschak ([email protected]) is a sophomore studying marketing. He is the Outreach Director for ASM and is running to represent the School of Business on Student Council.