SGA releases results

Nancy Hall

Every year in the spring the Student Government Association holds elections to at least some degree of controversy and tension. This spring is no different.

This time, the issue isn’t over campaigning or candidates. Instead, the fight has developed over a motion to release full election results, a motion that may change many facets of the election process at Quinnipiac.

Though it had been suggested in the past, the idea of releasing the numbers was never actually proposed until this year at the March 19 SGA meeting. According to the minutes from the meeting, Junior Class Representative Chris Galatioto made a motion to have the vote counts from the past election released. This motion received mixed reviews from the rest of SGA.

The minutes contain the question, “Why is it necessary?”

It became obvious to those present at the meeting that SGA members were interested in the results, but questions arose as to whether anyone outside of the organization would care.

Galatioto argued that this was a way to show the effectiveness of campaigning to the candidates, giving no reason for non-SGA members to desire the figures. The SGA constitution contains a clause stating that results would be posted, though it does not specify what exactly would be distributed.

Other SGA members contested the motion, saying it would only serve to hurt the candidates who had not won. Others argue, however, that the winning candidate would be able to see how many people were behind them in order to develop a plan to gain the trust of the rest of the voters.

After heated debate, the motion was put to a vote. There were several abstentions and negative responses, but it passed with a fair majority of SGA behind it.

Kerstin Soderlund, director of the Carl Hansen Student Center and Student Leadership Development, has served as one of SGA’s advisors since July. Soderlund says that this is the first time in SGA history that the exact results have been released.

She understands why the students involved would like to view the numbers, citing recent national and regional elections, such as the Presidential race in 2000, that have drawn major attention due to poll results.

Soderlund said she feels that, by making the public aware of the election percentages, SGA is following the precedent set by the major elections and therefore giving school elections more credibility.

In passing the motion, SGA members agreed to release this year’s results only. The results are posted outside of the SGA office in the Student Center for everyone to see.

There has been no talk of future elections results being released, but Soderlund is confident that the issue will be resolved in due time, most likely before next year’s Freshmen Cabinet elections in early fall.