Student Government Association Ditches Paper Ballots for High-Tech Voting
If it seemed empty outside of Glar recently, you’re not mistaken. For the first time, students waiting in line for dinner were unaccompanied by SGA voting tables. That’s because in getting with the computer age, McDaniel College has moved its voting system online.
The polls, which closed at midnight Friday, September 18, were conducted entirely on the internet. This system, which was used for the first time this year, was created with the help of McDaniel’s IT Department. And the facts show that students took notice.
“Online was a big factor,” said SGA Vice President Ben Cowman, commenting on the sizeable increase in voter turnout this year. He explained that student participation skyrocketed from an average of 5 percent to 38 percent following the introduction of online voting.
Dean of Student Affairs Beth Gerl said that the results of this year’s election show a “renewed energy” in McDaniel voters.
In addition to the new voting method, students were also introduced to structural changes in the SGA itself. This year, the SGA opted to elect one representative from each building on campus.
Under this structure, Gerl believes that “students will be better represented than they’ve been in years.”
The representatives, otherwise known as “senators,” that were elected on the 18th are: Jessica Schisler (Commuter Student Association), Brandon Campbell (Albert Norman Ward Hall), Anna Moffett (Blanche Ward Hall), Luke Schmidt (Daniel MacLea Hall), Nicholas Bender (Garden Apartments), Zach Weeden (McDaniel Hall), Zach Swope (North Village), Ryan Spicer (Rouzer Hall), and Hayoung Kim (Whiteford Hall).
Pennsylvania Avenue is currently without a representative, having had no candidate volunteers.
These senators are responsible for reaching out to their constituents and communicating information to RAs in their respective buildings. They also get voting privileges and are required to serve on at least two committees.
For students looking to get involved in the SGA, Cowman says it’s easy to do: “As long as they express an interest, anyone can serve on a committee.”
The SGA meets Mondays at 9:00 p.m. in Hill Hall, Room 110.