The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Government elected

Election turnout, application numbers plummet
Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
The incoming executive board will decide who will fill the 21 available seats in Student Government.

The five Student Government executive board candidates, all of whom ran unopposed, have been elected. Thania Hernandez ’25, Yuko Tanaka ’26, Christo Maheras ’26, Elle Lansing ’26 and Chris Kirch ’26, have been elected as president, vice president, treasurer, communications officer and parliamentarian, respectively. Kirch also won a special election to fill the parliamentarian vacancy.

Turnout for the elections cratered from the last – 361 students cast ballots, compared to 1,026 in February when three students ran for president, meaning that the incoming executive board is representative of the votes of 13 percent of the student body. No candidate, save for Maheras, received more than 70 percent of the vote; nearly a quarter of voters opted to abstain instead of voting for Hernandez, while between 12 percent and 19 percent chose to do the same for the other candidates.

Dozens of students left their ballots blank.

“Our voter participation this year was comparable to what we saw in previous years … with last year’s election being an anomaly because of the three-way [contest] for president,” Hernandez said.

Indeed, COVID-19-era elections have seen similar turnout, save for February’s, but elections prior to the pandemic saw hundreds more students voting.

“Although the elections this year were not as competitive as anyone would have liked, it is still so important that people had their voices heard, whether it was through a direct vote for a candidate or abstention on the form,” Maheras wrote in a text message.

Only one candidate received more than 70 percent of the vote in a race that saw no opposition. (Graphic by Trebor Maitin ’24 for The Lafayette)


Lansing echoed that sentiment, writing in an email that voting serves as “an opportunity to address critical issues and resolve them through the democratic process.”

Tanaka called Student Government “the representative voices of the diverse student body.”

Applications to serve in Student Government also saw a steep drop. Only 18 students applied for 21 available seats by the Nov. 3 deadline. Last year, 60 students applied.

Student Government pushed the application deadline to Nov. 22, the link for which is available on the Student Government Instagram. The elected executive board will decide who fills these seats.

Kirch did not respond to requests for comment.

Trebor Maitin ’24 and Andreas Pelekis ’26 contributed reporting.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Austin Carey
Austin Carey, Staff Photographer

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *