UTSA held its elections for officers in Student Government Association last week and, as usual, no one voted.
Student government elections at UTSA are considered a success if 5% of the student body votes. Many of the elections are won not by those candidates who are best suited for the office, but by those who have the most friends who can vote for them. Especially in smaller elections, such as the one for college senators, elections can be decided by a strong campaign rather than a strong message.
This isn’t unique to UTSA or even to student body elections, but it highlights what can happen when poor turnout collides with voters who barely understand the issues or candidates.
UTSA may be growing and improving in both the size of its student body and its reputation, but it is still a small school in that relatively few students dictate the will of the student body.
Of the thousands of students at UTSA, only about 200 are active enough on campus to influence university policy and affect the culture of the student body in a meaningful way.
Of course, many students are busy with sports, jobs and other extracurriculars and do not have time to play a role in how student life develops. That’s understandable.
But if students care about what is going on around campus, what traditions UTSA will pass down and how students interact with the administration, faculty and community the least they can do is pay attention to who represents them at student government meetings.
We hear all the time that UTSA is changing and for the better, but so few students do much — if anything — to be a part of that.
Students need to recognize their potential and become more involved with the evolving university around them. This is a time when the foundation of UTSA’s student culture will be built, and too few students are making an investment towards developing a vibrant campus atmosphere.