Director of Student Activities Rob Turning released the Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Board election results yesterday. This announcement comes nearly a month after the elections were held, due to a lengthy appeals process concerning treasury candidate Schaefer Whiteaker’s disqualification. During that time, Hopkins students were not informed about the reason for this delay, much less the details of the appeals process. The SGA Committee on Student Elections (CSE) told The News-Letter two weeks ago that students weren’t informed about the process to “avoid confusion and clogging up students’ inboxes.”
The editorial board believes that students should have been regularly updated on the progress of the election and the appeals process. This election decides who will represent the student body at Hopkins for the next academic year. Students came out this year to vote in record numbers, and they deserve to know the result of their votes.
The fact that CSE neglected to inform students about the process because they wanted to avoid “clogging up students’ inboxes” is a poor excuse. Students receive countless emails from SGA concerning such trivial matters as cupcake giveaways and free smoothies. The results of the executive board elections are surely more important.
The student body at Hopkins has a reputation for being apolitical. Students rarely turn out for political events and less than half the student body votes in SGA elections. In the past few years, SGA and CSE have attempted to increase voter turnout with advertisement campaigns and school-wide emails. But by refusing to inform students about the results of this election, they are perpetuating the myth that elections don’t matter. Voting loses its appeal when students come out to vote but don’t hear who won until a month later. If SGA is truly concerned about voter turnout, they should attempt to convince students that elections do indeed matter by returning election results in a timely manner and keeping students informed.