Three years ago, senior Avery Steadman went door-to-door around Elon University’s Danieley flats, asking students if they would consider her for freshman class treasurer.
Past experience makes it easy for Steadman, current SGA executive president, to relate to the dozens of new students that will be going through residence halls and introducing themselves to many fresh faces in the next week in preparation for the freshman class elections Sept. 7-9.
“Being on the other side is a little bittersweet — it’s bringing back a lot of great memories from my entire career at Elon related to SGA,” Steadman said. “I would tell anyone running that all of the craziness surrounding elections will be worth it, no matter how they turn out.”
When Steadman first ran in 2012, 27 freshmen competed for one of the six spots available on SGA.
The number of students running in the freshman class election has decreased since 2012, dropping to 15 candidates last year.
The trend of low participation in elections persists beyond fall elections.
Last spring, three out of the four executive positions were left uncontested — the position of student body president was the only opposed position. Steadman ran against Sean Barry, senior and current Senior Class President.
Since then, SGA learned from recent lackluster participation in elections and made it their goal increase student involvement.
“Our main goal this election is to have every race contested,” Steadman said.
To increase participation with SGA, the organization began reaching out to students over the summer, even including a letter in the summer mailing packet for freshmen.
The letter provided information about the
fall election, and students were asked to email for more information.
After the letter, interest noticably increased, and Steadman said they received more than 40 inquiries.
Some students were interested because they had been involved in student government during high school.
That’s the case for freshman class presidential candidate Kenneth Brown Jr., who served as student body president in high school.
Brown said he wants to continue to be a voice for classmates at Elon, like he did in high school.
“In high school I was a liaison between students and school administration,” Brown said. “That will carry over if I’m elected here at Elon. I’ll make sure the first-years know news and events, as well as relay their concerns back to SGA and others.”
Freshman Amy Belfer, on the other hand, decided to run for a class senator position because she never involved herself with student government when she was in high school.
“One of my biggest regrets in high school was not being as involved with student government,” she said. “I wanted to run because I want to get involved and hear everyone’s opinions. I stand for what people want, plus I’m willing to listen and take people’s opinions and put them toward action.”
In addition to freshman class president and three senator spots, the positions of vice president, secretary and treasurer are also up for grabs.
Application packets are due 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2 at in the SGA office, Moseley 213.
Voting for the election is scheduled to take place online Monday, Sept. 7 - Wednesday, Sept. 9. According to Steadman, the results of the election will be announced 6 p.m. in Moseley 215.