USGA Aims to Improve Student Voting

USGA Aims to Improve Student Voting

Sarah Dematteis, Staff Writer

Earlier this week, the University of New Haven Class of 2019 and Class of 2021 wrapped up their elections process that included applications, campaigning, and what used to be the ever dreaded means of voting.

Before this semester, the voting ballot was sent out in an email to all university students. Any student wanting to vote had to click the link and follow a series of prompts to ultimately reach the voting platform. For many, this served as a problem, whether it be the email getting lost in the dozens of others received throughout the day, or the elongated process of reaching the voting area.

Wanting a much smoother, and more engaging way for students to get involved, the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) made a switch to Charger Connection and polling tables in Bartels, rather than the direct link sent through email. This change was prompted by wanting to ensure as many students voted as possible, and wanting to eliminate as much human error possible.

“We figured it was a much easier way for the students to vote, especially those who don’t check their email as much,” said Parker Johnson, USGA executive assistant. “With class elections the voting [in Charger Connection] is limited to just, in this case, the Class of 2019 and 2021, and this eliminates human error because nobody else can access the portal.”

This process was used to elect the new USGA Treasurer at the beginning of September, and proved to be successful. So, the Charger Connection voting process and polling tables were used again to elect the new Class of 2021 and 2019 executive boards.

In order for someone to be elected, it is a majority of the vote, but five percent of the represented population must vote to make sure there are numbers behind the elections. Throughout the years, there has been increasing amounts of students voting.

“For the freshman class, they exceeded the 5% by a lot,” said Nicolette Angelli, USGA president.

Hoping this trend will continue Johnson explains that as information gets out, and Charger Connection becomes more of a regular routine it will continue to increase voting turnout and hopefully a trend will start to emerge that as time goes on that people are utilizing the system more.

The push for more student involvement stems from the importance of voting.

“When you are voting for any officers you are voting in the faces of your student body. These are the people that are representing you as the student body in its entirety, these are the people who will contact administration with important issues that you voice,” said Angelli. “While directly in that moment all you are doing is clicking a button to vote, in the long run you want people there who will represent you well.”

USGA is looking for student feedback from anybody that has suggestions as to how the process can be smoother. Both Johnson and Angelli have expressed their willingness to sit down and talk to anyone who has any questions. While the executive assistant oversees the elections process, anyone in USGA can answer any questions, and are always open talk.

Angelli urges students to “get involved and use [their] voice, USGA is here to represent the students, everything we do is benefiting your college experience.”