This past week LUCC held elections for district representatives. Unfortunately, many students did not vote. LUCC recorded that 552 students voted in the election — which is extremely low considering our student population of 1502.
The low turn out of voters is indicative of a more complex issue regarding student government at Lawrence. LUCC does not impart a standardized impression of what its role is on campus. Each student has a different impression of what LUCC does, how it works and how it relates to the student body.
LUCC could do a better job of defining its role on campus, especially to incoming freshman. Compare LUCC to the Honor Council. Every freshman understands what the Honor Code is and how the Honor Council works, but they do not have the same concrete understanding of their own student government.
The common Lawrence student likely does not know that last year LUCC allocated over $300,000 to student groups across campus. Knowing that amount may not be important, but knowing the extent of our student government’s influence is significant.
In order for LUCC to work effectively on campus, students need to understand what its role is what its elected members do. Knowing about LUCC is essential to caring about its function on campus, and if students care, LUCC will be more representative of their collective voice.
Low election turnout is not the strongest indicator of how LUCC is disconnected from the student population. A better gauge is the way students talk about it as if it were a stagnant institution instead a vibrant and authoritative organization.
We at **The Lawrentian** believe that if LUCC is to be completely representative of the student body, it needs to become a more prominent and animate group to the students not directly involved in it. If students felt more connected to LUCC, and had a better understanding of their role on campus, LUCC elections would probably have a better turnout.