The Student Election Commission at Boston University is working hard to ensure election week runs smoothly, despite a technology problem with voting on the ballot website, said SEC co-chair Tess McNamara.
McNamara, a School of Education sophomore, said voting should have gone live Monday, Nov. 14, on the BU Student Link, but because of a technology malfunction is only available on a separate website. Voting will continue through Monday, Nov. 19.
“That was an issue because we had materials printed [with the Student Link voting directions], and because we were told one thing and something else happened,” said Jack Goldberg, the campaign manager for BetterBU, the only slate running for election.
Goldberg, a College of Communication senior, said the SEC is trying to fix the situation, but that reversing a problem of this nature can be difficult.
“We really appreciate all the work they’re putting in,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg said BetterBU has been canvassing and posting voting information on chalkboards in various academic buildings in hopes of increasing voter turnout.
Students might have less incentive to vote since there is only one slate running, he said.
“No one else is running and that depresses us more than anyone,” he said. “We want to have an opponent — that’s the truth.”
The slate hopes to increase student interest in elections and to give SG elections a good name, Goldberg said.
Naomi Anderson, a College of Arts and Sciences freshman, said she does not know the election cycle is underway.
“I guess ideally they [elections] would be bigger and people would know about it,” Anderson said.
Anderson said she was involved with student government in high school, but is not interested in it at BU.
“There are other things that there are higher priorities to me right now,” she said.
Megan Wade, a CAS senior, said she only knew about the elections because her resident assistant is running for executive vice president. She said although she does not know much about SG, she knows more than the average BU student.
“I don’t think there’s enough information about the differences between the organizations that are running, so you don’t really know what their platforms are or anything like that,” she said.
Wade said she has worked with CAS Student Government, but not with the university-wide SG.
“I’ve dealt with the CAS Student Government … when we need to petition for money, but other than that I don’t really have much interaction with Student Government,” she said.
Ben Marcus, a CAS sophomore, said he will probably not vote in the election because he knows nothing about SG.
“I don’t know any of the candidates,” he said.
Marcus said he does not think what SG does on campus is noticeable. If the slates running publicized the election more, it might give him incentive to vote, he said.
Abby Klinedinst, a CAS freshman, said she heard about the elections on the BU Class of 2016 Facebook page.
“I feel like they could put up flyers or something simple like that because the Facebook thing was the only thing I had seen,” Klinedinst said.
She said more people would be inclined to vote if the slate were more well-known around campus.
“[More people might vote] if they knew more about what the candidates stood for or who the candidates were,” she said. “I don’t even know who they [the candidates] are.”
McNamara said she and the rest of the SEC have planned promotions to increase voter turnout and student interest, including a voting party in the George Sherman Union.
“We have voting booths made, so we’re going to have computers and iPads in the voting booths,” she said.
McNamara said the SEC aims to encourage students who might not be as involved in SG to come out and vote.