There are many reasons why 76 percent of Allegheny College students chose not to vote during the Allegheny Student Government (ASG) elections this past week.
Many students were busy. Some were lazy. Others were apathetic and did not care who ended up winning.
“Students have very busy schedules, said Matthew Stahl, ’11. “The middle of the week was a bad idea because, personally, I had an exam on Thursday, which I was studying for all day Wednesday. It would be ideal if the election period was all week long.”
Matt McKay, ‘11, added, “Yes, I probably should have found time to learn about the candidates and vote, but I did not get around to it. I was very busy.”
In addition, some students felt they were not given enough exposure to the candidates and the election process.
“I would have liked to know which candidate stood for which issues, but we [students] should not have to do the research to find out,” said Kirsten Carr, ’12. “It should be their [candidates] obligation to present themselves and explain what they represent to the students.”
This was especially true for students living off campus.
“I live off-campus and had no idea when it was voting time,” said Anthony Dipre, ’11.
Some students did not vote because they did not know the candidates.
“I didn’t know the people well enough to have a fair enough judgment,” McKay said. “I would rather not vote than vote for someone who I do not know.”
“Yes, I believe in voting, however, I am not going to vote for someone who I don’t know,” Stahl said.
“I don’t think that uninformed people should vote,” Carr said.
Others did not vote because they felt this specific election had no lasting significance in their life.
“Yes, voting is important, especially with regards to elections that matter to the greater public,” Dipre said. “I admittedly do not feel a personal obligation to vote, however, in an election that most likely will not affect my college experience or life.”
Even students that voted were not satisfied with how the election was set up.
“Yes, the election could have been improved,” said Michael Albring, ‘11. “For such a big event, it was such a quick process. It happened too fast.”
“They should have advertised a little more and reached out to the students. They should have expressed the awareness of the election,” said Hannah Beckett, ’11.
Also, some students felt the election process should have been longer.
“If it was a whole week, instead of two days, more people would get around to it,” said Stephanie VanSickle, ’11.
“It went by so quick,” Carr said. “There should have been a build-up to it. It would have brought more awareness to the student body.”
Despite not having an ideal election process, many students did have enough motivation to vote. A belief of the importance of voting along with the pre-developed friendship between the student and the candidates guided many students’ ballots.
“It’s my right and my obligation as a student to vote,” Albring said. “I chose who I did because of past experience. I know the candidates. They are outstanding people and I know they will do their best.”