There were only 400 ballots submitted in the most recent Thelmo election. The student body successfully elected a Vice President of University Relations, a Secretary, and a Vice President of Senate Affairs. However, we do not have a president.
Caroline D. Bishop ’10, Thelmo Elections Chair, informed the student body in an email that “[they] are obligated to open up the election for the presidential position only” because “our presidential candidate did not receive the required number of  votes.” There will be another campaigning period with debates and voting until a candidate receives enough votes.
Beth Kessenich ’12, the only presidential candidate, said she attributes the lack of voting participation to many different factors. “The initial application process was pushed back a week because at the time there was a lack of interest and I was the only one to apply for the position of president. By pushing back the applications, this also pushed back campaign week, the debate, and voting. Voting ended up being the week before break and with students focused on exams, papers, and getting home, I think voting was the last thing on their mind.”
Kessenich also mentioned that because “three of the four positions were running unopposed, people did not think they had to vote and the people running automatically would get their position, which was not the case.”
The lack of voting could also be attributed to student disappointment with Thelmo “All the events were canceled. They should start taking more action and planning more activities,” said Chase Fisher ’10.
Some students also claimed that they would have voted but did not receive ballots in their CMRs. “I went to vote with my friends, but I didn’t have a ballot. That’s one vote right there,” said Karl Schenker ’10.
Kessenich also critiqued our voting system. “Students can go weeks without checking their mailbox and when voting ballots are placed in [them] it is almost limiting the students from voting. If we had open ballots in the student center or an on-line system I think we might see a difference in participation.” She also suggested that students could be given ballots in class.
In order for Thelmo to function properly and support student clubs and activities on campus, we need to vote for our representatives. It is even more important to vote if you have disagreed with recent Thelmo decisions or think they should be planning more activities because new leadership can bring new opportunities.