Dramatic increase in student voting for SLC election
The total number of students that voted was 12.5 per cent, up from five per cent at last year’s general election.
SAITSA President Sebastian Rodas said that increasing awareness of voting was a top priority for the student organization this year.
“I think that it was a joint effort between all of us to get to that point. It was not just voter turnout but the number of people that showed interest,” said Rodas.
Overall, 20 candidates campaigned to be elected, meaning there was almost two people vying for each position available. Those newly elected to the SLC are: Andrew Bartkowski, Tegan Cochrane, Thomas Cruickshank, Katarzyna Gajewska, David Huston, Braedon Peterson, Daniel Rodriguez, Roman Starodub, Kenneth Taylor, Trevor Van Amerongen, and Eric Wheeler.
The 11 freshly-elected candidates will join existing members, Allison Hewitt, Lin Cai, Cesar Jimenz, Sammy Piera, who remain from the summer.
SAITSA VP Academic Andrew Crossett gave his peer Jose Landaverde, VP of Student Life, props for his persistence and dedication to raising the student vote numbers.
“He was out pushing people super hard. He did a hell of a job,” said Crossett.
SAITSA VP External Matthew Armstrong called the alterations to the rules a major reason for the increase in candidates, which he said likely helped drive interest from the student body. In previous years, students would run for positions representing their own programs, business for instance, but this year any student from any department was eligible to run.
Rodas said he was excited about the increase, but is looking to achieve even higher numbers for future elections.
“We always need to aim for more. Overall I think this is a stepping stone to really getting people involved.”