Students turn out for GSB elections

Wendy Weiskircher

Many ISU students recognized the first day of the Government of the Student Body elections by going to the polls to cast their votes for the university’s future student leaders.

Although some students said they are not informed enough to vote, efforts by the candidates and the GSB Election Commission to increase voter turnout have not gone unnoticed by all. A total of 716 students cast their ballots during the first day of voting.

“I want to have a part in deciding who’s in our student government,” said Traci Gravert, freshman in liberal arts and sciences.

Brooke Smerber, sophomore in animal science and member of the Election Commission, helped run the Memorial Union poll Monday afternoon, where several students had already voted.

“There has been pretty much a steady stream since I have been here,” she said. “We’re hoping a whole bunch of people are going to vote.”

Some students see their vote in the GSB elections as their voice on campus.

“Voting is very important because that’s the way democracy works,” said Andy Tofilon, a current GSB senator who is not seeking re-election. “Student voices need to be heard, and when they’re heard, our student leaders will be more effective.”

Some students said their vote gives them more of a commitment to GSB.

“This way, I am responsible for who gets elected,” said Jeff Benz, senior in electrical engineering. “If I vote for someone who doesn’t do a good job, I am just as responsible as that person.”

Benz added that his right to vote grants him what he referred to as the “right to gripe.”

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have any right to complain about [GSB],” he said.

Students who have not been satisfied with the way GSB represented them this year said their vote may bring about the changes they want.

“GSB has been kind of wimps this year, backing down to the administration and stuff,” said Kris Kroona, freshman in pre-business. “Hopefully, I can vote for someone who won’t do that.”

Other students have been influenced to vote by those around them.

“I’m voting because a girl in my house is running,” said Laura Junod, junior in dietetics.

Mike Rosulek, freshman in computer science, said his floor — Fairchild House in Roberts Hall — has sparked an interest in him to vote.

“There are about six people in GSB on our floor,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to escape GSB here.”

When it comes to representation, students said, they do not want to go unheard.

“It’s our right,” said Ryan Clausen, freshman in pre-business. “We might as well vote.”

The polls will be open tonight until 10 and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.