Why everyone should participate in SGA elections this week

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By Jamie Weissman, staff writer, @jamieweissman

If you’ve already logged into Testudo and voted for your favorite Student Government Association (SGA) candidates, congratulations: you’ve officially helped to make a difference in this university’s community. But if you’re reading this now and you have not yet done so, don’t worry, Drake was wrong: it’s not too late.

The virtual polls officially opened on Testudo Wednesday and will remain available through April 24. Polls are accessible today and Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

There are more than 20,000 students on this campus; however, there’s a good chance that not every single one will cast their vote. Regardless of whether you hate politics or simply just don’t care, you should vote in the SGA elections because they are a vital part of the future of College Park and this campus.

You might be asking yourself why it matters if you vote, and here’s the simple answer: your voice deserves to be heard. Students often say that they wish there were certain changes or amenities on campus but they don’t ever foresee them happening. Imagine the changes that could be made if every student took advantage of their right to vote and advocated change  through voting.

Current SGA President Patrick Ronk of the Next Party and his opponent, Voice Party’s Ori Gutin, are each vying for the chance to lead the student body in making major changes. While both party’s platforms agree on continuing to train students in preventing sexual assaults, each candidate has different goals for the upcoming year.

Ronk hopes to sell alcohol at athletic events and create a grief bereavement policy that will allow students to grieve without having issues from professors in terms of missing assignments, while Gutin plans to connect to the student body,foster diversity and inclusion.

Voting in the SGA elections allows you to pick candidates who represent your wants and needs and allows you to become part of major change at Maryland.

SGA has the word student in it for a reason. It is because SGA is on this campus to serve the student body. Although there will be plenty of elections to vote in post-graduation, SGA elections are probably one of the only times in your lives where you can speak up and see firsthand that your voice is heard. As a young college student, it is empowering to cast your vote and know you had a connection, no matter how small, to the changes that will come to campus.

However, SGA can’t help you if you don’t help them. So what are you waiting for? Head over to Testudo now and let SGA know what you’re thinking.

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