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Student Congress changes way students vote

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By Jenean Zahran
Collegiate Staff Writer

Student Congress is allowing students to participate in the voting for the first-annual student election.

Very similar to the student Mock Election the school had this past Fall semester, students will be able to submit their vote on Blackboard, or on virtually any device that can connect to the Internet. At GRCC, Student Congress represents and is the voice of the student body.

Members of Student Congress do their best to hear student’s concerns so they can make the best recommendations to the Board of Trustees and other various decision-making committees on the students’ behalf.

Their goal in this campus-wide election is to raise the awareness of their roles as student leaders at GRCC while allowing students to take a greater role in the democratic process.

The positions students will be able to vote for will be for  president, vice president, budget director, and communications director.

In addition to the electronic voting they will provide on Blackboard, Student Congress will have ten polling locations around campus. Volunteers will be around helping to “get out the vote” all week, while helping students locate voting booths and answer any questions about the process.

Nicholas Wikar, President of the student congress, is very excited for the new electronic voting and is very optimistic for the students’ participation in it. He hopes to increase involvement from the Mock Election they had in the fall.

“Colleges and universities who host campus-wide elections typically garner only 5 percent voter turnout rate among students,” said Wikar. “While I am hopeful that our students will head-to-the polls in March and exceed the national average, I am mindful of the 1.5 percent voter turnout we experienced during the Mock Election this past October.”

The best way to get information about the individual candidates that are running would be to attend any of the upcoming Student Congress meetings held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Center on February 10 and 24 or March 3 and 17.

If students are interested in presenting questions for the candidates, they can attend the Student Leader Debate which will be hosted in the ATC Auditorium, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16.

If students are unable to attend, they will be able to watch videos of these events and campaign updates on GRCC’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/GRCCtv.

Voting will begin Monday, March 28th at 10 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 1.  Students can expect voting booths to be located in Winchester Alley, 4th Floor Main, ATC Lobby, Sneden Hall, the Lakeshore Campus, Wealthy Street Learning Corner, the Westside Learning Corner, and the student lounge located across from the Counseling Center on the 3rd Floor of the Student Center.

Students who choose to vote online will be able to access the ballot 24 hours a day during this week.