Voter apathy is plaguing American River College.
In April the Associated Student Body elections had the lowest voter turnout in the 67-year history of the college.
How can a campus with more than 35,000 students yield only 296 total votes?
ARC isn’t the only campus in the Los Rios Community College District stricken with apathy among students when it comes to voting. Cosumnes River College and Sacramento City College both had extremely low voting results.
Christina Alvarado, president-elect at CRC, said out of 16,000 students only 405 students actually voted. At SCC, Senator Brad Morie said out of 23,000 students only 488 came out to vote.
Manuel Perez, dean of student discipline at ARC, says there has been great effort trying to spark student interest and awareness for this election than in the past.
Having the desire to do better and what the reality of it entails are two different entities.
ARC Director of Finance for the Clubs and Event Board NaKisha Allen says part of the reason for voter apathy on our campus is because “people have a lot going on in their lives. People don’t know where to go to get involved, but we’re trying to change that.”
Voting is a privilege that should be advocated whether on the national, state or community college level.
According to some administrators and student senators, ASB members can have a big voice in administrative decision-making,which can affect students on campus, as well as the surrounding communities. If issues of such importance are being discussed and decided, and the ASB is supposed to be the voice of students, then students need to be better informed.
An informal poll taken by The Current on April 26 yielded a startling realization.
Eighteen of twenty students asked said they were unaware that there was even an election two weeks prior.
In the past several months the campus has been flooded with people pushing clipboards informing students about important initiatives that will be on November’s election ballot.
These individuals were successful in getting their agendas heard while gaining the support they were seeking.
This seems like a strategy that campus administrators and advisers should consider. It could be the cure to the pervasive apathy on campus.
There are still several senate positions that have yet to be filled.
With a student population the size of Fair Oaks, why is there only one person running for president and vice president?
So here is what we have in mind that could help build awareness: Come up with a platform that allows for more interaction for students to get involved. Inform students of what ASB is and why leadership and involvement is so vital to college life.
Knowledge is key, and at an institution of higher learning, students crave knowledge. Give it to them. Don’t be apathetic.
The fact still remains, 296 voters out of a possible 35,000-plus doesn’t seem acceptable.