Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

SGA continues to disappoint

SGA election leaves most seats vacant, executive positions uncontested
Noah Willoughby

The results for the Spring 2024 Student Government Association elections are in. While this time brings a change in leadership to the organization and new representatives for the respective colleges, two things have remained the same — SGA’s abysmal voter turnout and the organization’s inability to field enough candidates to fill the ballot. 

This election cycle, all executive and legislative positions were open for candidates to run for, with each academic college, along with the different classes, being allocated different amounts of legislative seats. According to the SGA By-Laws, the only elections that do not occur during the Spring election cycle are freshman class senators and the Speaker of the Senate. 

In keeping with SGA’s trend, this election saw many of the legislative positions remain vacant. Additionally, all of the candidates for the SGA executive positions ran uncontested. 

The Sophomore and Junior classes only have one senator each, with both classes having three seats remaining vacant. The Senior class was the only class to completely fill their four legislative seats. The Graduate class also has only one senator, with three seats remaining vacant. The College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Engineering and Integrated Design and the University College all have no representation in SGA, as there were no candidates running to fill their legislative seats. 

The College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Sciences both have only one senator. The College of Health, Community and Policy has two senators, with two seats remaining vacant. 

These vacant seats will possibly be filled during the fall semester using an internal election process. Constituents of the colleges or classes with vacant seats will have no say in who will fill these vacancies and represent them. 

Additionally, voter turnout has remained extremely low during this election cycle. According to the election results provided by SGA, only 645 of the 32,368 eligible voters participated in the election. This is a voter turnout rate of 1.99%, a minuscule improvement from the last election which had a voter turnout rate of 1.82%.

This brings up important questions about the validity of SGA elections. Why can the organization not fill its seats completely? Why is there not more than one candidate for executive positions? What is the point in holding elections if a large majority of the positions are unfilled or uncontested? Why does UTSA continue to provide SGA with thousands of dollars when the organization can barely fill enough seats to run the organization? 

These questions cannot continue to remain unanswered. SGA must address these concerns and take action to improve participation in their organization and improve voter turnout in their elections. SGA needs to communicate a clear plan to UTSA students on how they are working to increase their visibility and voter participation.

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About the Contributors
Noah Willoughby
Noah Willoughby, Staff Writer
Noah (he/him) is a Communications major at UTSA. Noah was born in San Antonio and has been here all of his life. He has spent a large portion of that life working with people who have disabilities throughout various jobs, but decided to come back to college to find a new path. He enjoys reading and writing and hopes to do the latter as a full-time gig.

Comments (2)

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  • B

    Butch OxendineApr 30, 2024 at 12:49 pm

    Election turnout can be higher. There are ways to increase it without gimics. ASGA is the national professional association for college and university student government. Your institution’s SGA could be taking advantage of ASGA’s resources.

  • A

    Aaron AlemanApr 24, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    In keeping with the Paisano’s trend, this article is yet another example of the annual, needless bashing of SGA. This article offers nothing constructive, but only outlines The Paisano’s continuous disconnect with how the Student Government Association operates, and its understanding thereof. I honestly wish there was another student newspaper besides The Paisano. UTSA deserves a lot better than this.