Elections hit the web: SGA to use SurveyMonkey in officer, senate voting

by Holly Brown
A&E Editor

It’s that time of year again. Student Government Association elections are coming up. However, our freshly chosen representatives will not be the only change this year. We will also be using a new voting system to select them.

While voting has consistently taken place in Front Lobby over the past few years, SGA has used a variety of mediums to take student votes for elections. In 2009, voting machines were used. In 2010, the method was pencil and paper. In 2011, the votes were taken on computers set up in Front Lobby.

This year will see an even more significant change. For the first time in Transylvania’s history, SGA will allow students to vote on their own time, from their own computer, using SurveyMonkey.

“You can finagle SurveyMonkey in a way that allows for everybody to be able to only vote once, and for the voting to be secure,” said senior, Josh Edge, current SGA president. “Just because we’re a small university doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take advantage of the technology.”

Thursday at 5 p.m., all returning students will receive an email from Rhyan Conyers that will explain the new election process and provide a link to the voting survey. For the first round of elections, voting will close Friday at 7 p.m.

Currently, about 60-65 percent of Transylvania students turn out to the polls. With the new voting system, SGA hopes that the voting percentages will improve.

“I would hope that it would get more people to turn out. … I suspect that we’ll probably get somewhere between 70 and 75 percent. It literally just requires everyone to get on their email, click a link and spend 30 seconds of their time,” said Edge. “What’s good is that everybody can vote, not just the people who happen to frequent through Forrer (Front) Lobby.”

The first round of elections will involve the selection of next year’s SGA president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

Candidates for president this year are juniors Charli Fant, Andrew Goff and Hannah D. Johnson. Those running for vice president are sophomore Kayarash Karimian and junior Cody Kirby. Secretary hopefuls are junior Blake Atkinson and sophomore April Ballard. Contenders for treasurer are junior Wes Becker and sophomores Ashley Carter and Jordan Perkins.

The second round of voting will occur April 5-6 and will be used to elect next year’s SGA senators. As in the first round of elections, students will receive an email with a survey link that they can follow to vote. This round may also include a second round of voting for officers if there is need for a runoff election.

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