A record number of University of Louisville students voted in the 2017 Student Government Association election, which ended earlier this month.
About 3,800 students voted in this year’s general election, about 20 percent of the entire student body. Previously, voter turnout has totaled between 6 percent and 15 percent.
A separate runoff election was held for three of the four SGA executive positions. According to SGA’s constitution, at least 40 percent of votes must go to the winning candidate or a runoff election will be held. The runoff election also had a high voter turnout, with about 2,300 students participating.
SGA president Aaron Vance said this year’s high number of voters can be attributed to the high level of outreach from UofL’s SGA as well as a new voting system. Vance also said that the recent campus climate has encouraged students to become more engaged.
This election, SGA used a software system called Blue, which allowed the polls to go out via student email. Blue is the same system used for course evaluations at the university. In previous years, students had to log into ULink and click on several tabs before getting to the ballots.
“We worked very hard to make voting easier,” Vance said. “Sending it to student emails took the hassle out of how it was previously done.”
Results for the top four in SGA for the 2017-18 year are:
- Vishnu Tirumala, Student Body President
- Sarah Love, Student Body Executive Vice President
- Jonathon Fuller, Student Body Academic Vice President
- Chris Bird, Student Body Services Vice President
As the new president of SGA, Tirumala will also serve as the student representative on the board of trustees.