LSU students can vote in the Student Government fall elections on Monday. Voting is available all day until 11:59 p.m.
An email sent Sunday contained a link to the ballot, which will be accessed through TigerLink, and further instructions on how to vote. The results of the election will be announced Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom.
There are 59 senate seats and 15 college council seats up for election and a total of 79 candidates running. Although 15 college council seats are up, only one candidate is running for a college council seat this semester, meaning the bulk of the election will take place in the senate.
There is also a referendum on the ballot, which if passed, will replace Student Government’s runoff election system with a ranked-choice voting system.
This change would have significant effects on how elections and campaigns are conducted and how various student demographics are represented.
Aside from some students running as independents, undergraduate candidates are running under two different tickets this semester: Refresh and Forward.
Voter turnout for fall elections is usually lower than elections in the spring, according to political communication junior Claire Parish, who is the commissioner of Student Government elections.
Roughly 1,300 students voted in last year’s fall elections, while close to 5,000 voted in the spring’s presidential election alone.
Fall elections aren’t as followed since there is no campus-wide executive race, which takes place in the spring, according to Parish.
We’re trying to increase voter turnout every year as much as we can,” Parish said. “LSU’s a big campus and if you really would like to have your voice heard, I think it’s important to know who your senators are and who you should talk to in order to get your voice heard around this very big campus. It makes it feel a lot smaller, it makes you feel like you have a part in things that are going on.”
Student Government ticket heads emphasize the importance of both fall and spring elections. Political science and African American studies senior Justin Martin said SG is the most immediate link most students have to the administration and LSU’s decision making process. Martin is also the head of the Forward ticket and the current Student Senate speaker.
“It’s imperative that students use their voice in that process of selecting who will represent them and what they want their representatives to say,” Martin said.
Political science junior and Refresh ticket head Javin Bowman said student senators make legislation on many issues directly affecting students, from accessible resources to student fees. Bowman currently serves as the assistant director of student outreach.
“These decisions affect the student body in its entirety and this is why it is important that students vote for the people who will represent their voices in the room where it happens,” Bowman said.
Political science graduate student and LSU Graduate School Senator Jordan Landry said the pandemic and nationwide protests this year have added to the importance of voting in this fall’s Student Government elections.
“This is the first chance for the student electorate to register their judgment of the current Senate and its members since the pandemic and the aftereffects of George Floyd's killing hit campus,” Landry said. “This has put more serious matters than usual on SG's plate -- have the senators been up to the job, and who should handle the job going forward?”