On Friday, April 19, at about 7:30 p.m. the results of the ASUCR elections were posted online. For the second consecutive year, the [YOU]UCR party dominated the ASUCR elections results, leaving OUR’SIDE with a single senate seat. This year’s voter turnout of 2,913 students paled in comparison to last year’s turnout of 4,693 students, which dropped from 27.5 to 17.1 percent of the student population.
The KUCR referendum did not reach the required 20 percent of total student votes to pass. The referendum sought to fund the campus radio station, KUCR, by increasing undergraduate fees from $3.00 to $6.50. However, the majority of participating students voted against the fee increase.
ASUCR Constitutional Amendment 1, which would have increased the number of senators from 16 to 20 did not pass. While ASUCR Constitutional Amendment 2, which makes various updates and corrections to ASUCR proceedings and directors’ titles did pass.
Senator Aaron Johnson, who won a reelection, shared his feeling of eagerness to continue serving on the ASUCR Senate.
“I’m really grateful and really excited to start my second term. It was definitely an experience—different from last year, being on the senate and fulfilling those responsibilities at the same time,” said Johnson. “So it was definitely really busy [and] a little bit tricky but I’m really excited to get the ball rolling for next year.”
Johnson remarked that the drop in voter turnout was the result of lower competition between the political parties compared last year’s elections.
“I wished more students would have voted,” said Johnson. “I think the elections commission did everything that they could … the publicity seemed, like, a lot more. I just honestly think it’s because maybe students felt like [there] wasn’t a lot of competition … because last year it was definitely a much more competitive election with R’Voice and everything.”
“Truthfully, I was disappointed [with] the turnout because we were not able to hit the 20 percent mark,” said Ranjit Nair, member of the OUR’SIDE party and the only non-[YOU]CR candidate who was elected. “If I could convey anything to the student body right now, it would be a plea to vote in the upcoming elections on everything proposed on the ballots. These elections determine everything from representation to new legislation and it is the duty of the students to decide whether or not they want to see change.”
Ranjit reacted to his win. “As it turned out, I am the only member of OUR’SIDE elected as a Senator,” said Ranjit. “I can only describe this feeling as bittersweet as I know many well qualified and dedicated individuals who I worked with could not secure a seat. Nonetheless, I, along with the members of [YOU]CR will look towards the future as we stand not as two separate parties, but as one unified government in the upcoming year.”
Despite the united front held by ASUCR candidates, students such as fourth-year English major Perris Wabui did not feel encouraged enough to vote.
“Apart from the reminders on the whiteboards in my classes there were no other blatant reminders or obvious booths set up outside of my classes, so it just slipped my mind,” she said. “I think maybe if it was advertised a little bit more, I might have stopped at a booth. It’s a lazy mentality, but it’s the sad truth.”