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Who Cares about Student Apathy?

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Who Cares about Student Apathy?

Over the last several months I have been emerged in the issue of voter apathy. This year only 8.3% of students voted in our Student Government elections.

This became an important issue to me since I first came to high school. I watched many of my friends show no interest in what was going on around high school. They did not know any of the candidates and they did not seem to care what happened to the organization that carried the most weight in conveying student interests to the administration. From this discourse, I set out this semester with goals in mind.

1) Increase voter turnout in the SGA election

2) Make voting available on-line

3) Increase student interest in SGA

Needless to say I failed at all 3 goals. Our voter turnout went down from the previous year, and I was told voting on-line had already been discussed and the administration had decided that it was not practical. It is hard to measure whether I increased interest in student government, however, based on the previous two, I believe interest has not increased.

While at this point in my endeavors I became frustrated. That did not stop me. I started simply talking to people I know about voting. I asked them why they thought students had apathy and what they thought might change that. These discussions changed my outlook completely. I was no longer concerned with just getting everyone to the polls because I realized that it took more than that to get people involved. In order for students to vote, they must strongly believe that what is happening affects them personally and that by voting they are not only taking a stand about something, but also they believe their stand will make a difference. Students who are not voting for these reasons probably should not be voting. This was a turning point in my process, and from here I took two new steps.

1) I developed a survey on voting

2) I created an information sheet to publicize the SGA election

The SGA election is not highly publized, and I felt it might be beneficial to post sheets telling students how and where to vote.

I particularly liked the "one vote" statistics on the information sheet distributed to students.
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