by Jessie Hellmann
University of Southern Indiana
Ninety-five percent of the student government positions at stake in recent elections were uncontested at University of Southern Indiana. Digging into the data behind uncontested positions, reporter and news editor Jessie Hellman found a trend.
During the 2011-2012 elections, out of the eight positions on the ballot, three were contested. Voter turnout has been under 10 percent for at least the past five elections, according to documents from the SGA office.
Emily Severeid, SGA's current attorney general, contributes uncontested positions to students who are afraid of losing. Severeid admits the SGA could do a better job of marketing, but overall is satisfied with the work being done.
“Everyone is very very happy with who we have running and how filled the general assembly is going to be," she said.
Butch Oxendine, the American Student Government Association's executive director, said SGA candidates running unopposed is a common problem among many universities, but should not occur at a school as big as USI. A lack of SGA candidates shows the student government needs to work on how it is perceived by the students it represents, he said.
This article builds on Jessie's earlier reporting about the high rate of Greek representation at University of Southern Indiana. Read that story here.