Congrats to Khaled Badr and Michael Falatico for their recent Presidential and Vice Presidential wins! This year, I worked on the Elections committee to ensure the election process remained as fair as possible while also spreading the word about every students “right to vote.” As I sat at a table in the Dana Center, calling out “SGA Elections today! Vote here!”, I was struck by the number of students who walked past without stopping to cast their vote. You may ask who is the culprit in this refusal to take part in the selection of the future leaders of our school?
In talking to some students about why they didn’t vote, I heard a lot of people echoing the sentiment that “SGA doesn’t matter.” Let me tell you- that’s not true. SGA plays a very active role in your Loyola experience, whether you realize it or not, and there are many reasons why you should take the time to learn what SGA does and more importantly what they can do for you.
1. You give them money. A part of your tuition every semester is set-aside specifically for SGA. They use this money to provide funding to on-campus organizations as well as various initiatives.
2. Shuttles to and from the airport. Canes in the Quad. Battle of the Bands. Graduate test reimbursement. Research grants. New York Times and USA Today every morning. Software reimbursement. PB&J on Tuesdays. These are all things provided by SGA.
3. A voice in policy issues. While its difficult to change University policy, SGA has a direct line to administrators and the Board of Trustees. If you want something changed, you have to go through these channels. SGA is the voice of the students when policy issues come under review.
4. If you don’t care on a local level, when will you start to care? Perhaps the phrase “Right to Vote” is misleading. Voting is a RESPONSIBILITY. We have a responsibility to our school to care about the direction it goes in. College is the time we all learn how to be involved in our communities. Shake off the apathy, find your voice, and vote.
SGA works hard every year trying to make students as happy as possible. I charge every Loyola student with this mission: make yourself aware of SGA’s impact on campus. And next year, I want to see 100% voter turnout.
So, next year, will you be in line to vote?