Student voter turn-out remains low

By Juliana Zapata | Asst. News Editor

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ONE OF FEW: A female student casts her vote in the student body elections on April 30.

Every spring, the Associated Students of Riverside City College hold its elections for student government positions.

However, few of RCC’s estimated 20,000 students take the time to vote.

The most recent elections for student government took place on April 30 and May 1 outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching and Learning center.

There were 40 positions available in the senate, in addition to the president and vice president positions.

The only requirement students had to meet in order to vote was to have a valid student ID card.

In fact, only 207 student ballots were received.

This number represents barely 1 percent of the students enrolled at RCC.

The elections were promoted on the Associated Students Facebook profile, and fliers announcing the elections were posted around campus.

Additionally, incentives such as snacks were offered to students who voted.

Low student voter turnout is a continuing problem at RCC, and students are aware of this.

“I think it’s mostly because students don’t know the value of voting,” said Ngugi Thuo, a RCC student. “Students simply don’t care enough to know when the
elections are.”

Many students at RCC are not involved on campus and instead focus on meeting the requirements for their particular academic goal.

Some students may have had schedule conflicts, not allowing them to cast their ballot when the voting took place.

“Sometimes (a student’s) schedule does not allow them to vote during the voting hours,” Hemerson Mendoza said . “Students might have work or class at that time.”

However, there are students who did vote in the election.

“I voted because I would like to have a student government more involved with students themselves,” said Victor Romero, a student at RCC.

Combating low voter turnout is something AS RCC senators and leaders say they will be focusing on this semester.