Worst voter turnout in 10 years

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By Desiree Perez

On election day, the designated voting area for Riverside City College’s student government elections remains completely deserted. (Desiree Perez)

By Desiree Perez

Voting is the game, and Riverside City College students are the losers.

As the slogan goes, vote or die and voting’s usually a lot less painful-usually. So it baffles the mind that there was such a dismal turnout for the student government elections that were held on May 16 and 17.

When it comes to RCC’s recent student government elections, students really dropped the ball, caving in to the default of voter apathy yet again.

Shame on you apathetic students. Shame on you.

The winners of this election are now the student leaders of our college.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t know who was running. They made it very simple for you. There was only one candidate for each of the presidential positions. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

I’ve been hearing a lot of nonsense from apathetic students trying to defend their lack of participation in the elections.

Most of these voting failures have tried to blame their laziness on student government itself, claiming a lack of publicity surrounding the elections.

That, my friends, is an outright lie.

On May 14, two whole days before the elections began, Viewpoints took a tour of the campus. We scoured hallways, bulletin boards and those nifty announcement boards that are scattered about campus.

We did notice an absence of posters, but, being the aware and concerned students we are, we remedied that immediately.

Even though we know that all students were already keenly aware of the student government elections, we decided to make sure apathetic students would have no excuses for not voting.

Viewpoints took the liberty of distributing our own voter awareness posters all around the campus.

That’s right. Viewpoints took an entire 45 minutes out of our busy schedules to create posters, have them approved by the current student body president himself and plaster them around in places apathetic students would be sure to see them.

And, although we’d love the ego boost, we can’t take all the credit for informing students about these elections.

On May 15, an entire 24 hours before the elections even started, student government posted its own flyers publicizing the election.

Before then, such flyers had always been available to students in the Student Services building-don’t act like you don’t know where that is.

Now, it’s true that the individual candidates neglected to post “vote for me” fliers anywhere on campus, but that shouldn’t be held against them.

Candidates for student government are busy people-far busier than you or me.

They shouldn’t have to waste their valuable time introducing themselves to their fellow students in order to get votes. They shouldn’t even have to publicize their platform. Heck, they shouldn’t even have to have a platform.

Platforms are for people who can’t win elections based on general attractiveness anyway.

I am tired of all the whining I hear from students who claim to be “actively involved” with our campus. All I ever hear from these people is how “we need to be informed to vote.”

“We need to know the issues.”

“We need to know who these students are and what they believe in.”


All you needed to know as a voter, and what you should have already known on your own, was that these candidates were running for office and therefore deserved your vote. The end.

If you still “had to know” about these inconsequential issues, you would have been able to read all about them when you signed on to WebAdvisor, looked for it, called Student Services for help and had them tell you to click the “Help” tab. It’s not rocket science.

I don’t care what anyone says, people sign on to WebAdvisor for fun all the time. It’s not just there for registration, purchases and grades. I myself sign on two or three times a day just to make sure all of the menu links are working properly; it helps me unwind.

Despite the unfettered access to information on the candidates and the election, even with the promise of free candy after you vote, RCC students still failed to have a 100 percent turnout.

In fact, out of the thousands of students enrolled at this college, only 101 truly love democracy and proved it by voting in the student government elections.

Sure, sometimes the voter booth was completely deserted. That doesn’t mean you couldn’t have voted anyway. Dedicated students with a real concern for their college would have waited it out until someone eventually showed up. Besides, there’s always WebAdvisor. If you don’t have Internet access, it’s no excuse; get with the times.

Even fewer students redeemed their WebAdvisor voter receipts to the A.G. Paul Quadrangle for a chance to win fabulous prizes in a drawing.

Being as dedicated to democracy as I am, I went to the Quadrangle.

After a few attempts to get information from the man in the bulldozer, I was kindly directed to the Admissions and Records building where I was able to turn in my receipt for some Double Bubble.

I’ve heard other students say that directing voters to “the Quad” shows a lack of accurate and up to date information. Wrong. I see it as a test of students’ diligence. If, and only if, you were willing to look for the proper location would your receipt be counted. If not, well you don’t deserve the Double Bubble anyway.

Election day has come and gone. Obviously, it’s voter apathy-not lack of candidate campaigning, general election awareness, user friendly technology, proper staffing or voter information-that has caused the lowest student government election turnout in the last ten years.

Even though the people who won president and vice president were going to win anyway, it doesn’t make non-voters any less appalling. It’s the principle of it all.

Way to go students. Way to let your campus down.

The least you can do is step away from your apathetic little worlds for a couple of minutes and cast your votes for whoever is running unopposed next time the student government elections roll around.

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