By Nadine Tester
Every time I walk into Daly’s or up the stairs in my residence hall, I am bombarded by flier after flier from the Lawrenceville SGA election candidates. SGA elections may not seem like a big deal (honestly, I hear more from the Student Entertainment Council every semester than I do from SGA) but with this past year’s somewhat somber mood between student and teacher deaths and the overhauled housing policy, the importance of choosing competent student leaders has never been higher.
To get a feel for what students are concerned about most, SGA conducted a survey of 85 students. The survey asked participants to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 whether they agreed with certain statements about things like housing, safety, weekend activities and the alcohol policy.
The results were mixed. Issues that were big at the beginning of the year, like the alcohol policy and housing, turned out to be a neutral subject to students. Twenty percent of students polled felt that housing met their needs, while 18 percent felt that it didn’t. The rest of those polled fell in neutral territory. The alcohol policy also seems to be a middle-of-the-road subject with 16 percent in favor of the changes made and 19 percent disagreeing.
“I can always find a parking spot in my designated lot” was the question that got the most students who disagreed. Of course, this comes as no surprise, but students will need to be reassured that there is going to be sufficient parking next year, especially because the gravel lot will no longer be used.
An impressive 42 percent of students strongly agreed with the statement, “I feel safe at Rider.” Not one student polled disagreed with this statement, which shows a lot about Public Safety.
Although the number of students polled may seem small (there are over 3,500 undergraduates who attend this school) in reality, the total number of students who vote in the SGA elections every year is very low. The real significance of this survey is to engage students so they will be more likely to vote, because their opinion was really counted.