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Press Clipping: Higher voting turnout keeps elections on Orgsync at Loyola University New Orleans

Higher voting turnout keeps elections on Orgsync

Alena Cover
March 2, 2016

The Student Government Association (SGA) elections are coming up this spring, and will be held this year through OrgSync, rather than with ballot boxes or through Blackboard, like in previous years.

Amanda Minchella, English senior, has voted in past SGA elections, and plans to vote this year as well. She doesn't take issue with the OrgSync voting platform, but knows that some of her friends do.

"As a krewe leader with student involvement, I know how to use OrgSync, and I know that Student Involvement and the university on the whole is trying to move everything on OrgSync, but I know a lot of who people don't know how to use OrgSync or don't like using OrgSync," Minchella said.

Courtney Williams, SGA adviser and associate director of student involvement, said many factors contributed to the decision to switch to OrgSync.

"All students are on that, it prevents duplication, it's more secure, and you can use it from anywhere. You can pick up your phone and vote, you can go online and vote, and you don't have to be on campus," Williams said.

Bud Sheppard, Chief Justice of SGA, says voter turnout has gone up since they started holding elections through OrgSync.

"We implemented the system for voting two years ago. In the first year, the numbers were comparable. Two years ago, we had 17 percent participation and Butch Oxendine from the American Student Government Organization said that was standard for our sized college, nationally. Last year we had one third of campus participate in voting," Sheppard said.

For students looking for ways to get informed about the candidates before the elections take place, Williams said there will be lots of ways to do that.

"We'll have flyers out, we'll have promotional videos, it'll be all over social media, and then we'll have information sessions for people to learn more about the positions available, and ask any questions. You'll be able to talk to our court justice, Bud Sheppard, or anyone on the SGA staff. Students are certainly welcome to come and talk to us in Student Involvement, so anything people want to know, we are more than happy to share that and get that out to everyone."

Williams is glad that last year's elections ran smoothly and had such a high turnout, and he is looking forward to how the elections will go this year. He encourages students to remember that their voting power in the student elections influences many aspects of life on campus, and will have a direct impact on their own lives.

"My hope as the adviser is to see even more students getting engaged with the process, and students voting and understanding that this is your voice, so when you elect these officers, they do go to the board of trustees meetings, they do meet with the president and the senior cabinet of the administration, so you really do have the power to influence what's happening on campus and make changes," Williams said.