Unoccupied House seats calls for 2nd voting round

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    Students can vote to fill 23 of 26 vacant seats in the House of Student Representatives between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. today at my.tcu.edu, the Student Government Association elections and regulations chairwoman said.Tori Hutchens, chairwoman, said seats are available because they were not filled initially or the previously elected representatives could no longer hold their positions for varying reasons.

    “Between this semester and last, class schedules and time commitments have changed, so many seats are open for new representatives,” she said.

    Hutchens said two seats from the School of Education and one from the College of Health and Human Sciences will remain open because no students applied to fill those positions by the noon deadline Monday.

    “If there are enough people on campus who want the opportunity to make a real difference for TCU and have the time to give to Student Government, the spots should fill,” she said.

    Hutchens said an e-mail was sent to all students to advertise the application process and additional messages were sent out with each class e-mail.

    Glenton Richards, community liaison for SGA, said the added advertisement should boost voter turnout, which has been subpar in past elections.

    “For most elections, the voter turnout isn’t very high,” he said. “I’m not sure what the expected turnout is for this election, however.”

    But Hutchens said despite the fact candidates for some seats face competition, they did not campaign for positions because of the typically low voter interest. She said candidates filled out questionnaires about their positions that voters can access at my.tcu.edu.

    Richards said he has been actively encouraging students to apply for positions and inviting them to SGA meetings.

    “We’re just looking for people that care about their school and want to make a difference,” he said. “Being involved with the House of Representatives also looks great to employers after you graduate.”

    Ryan Johnson, a sophomore radio-TV-film major and SGA communications chair, is running to represent the College of Communication and said his past position as SGA parliamentarian influenced his decision to run in this election.

    “I was parliamentarian and that basically entailed sitting next to the vice president and making sure that he and the House as a whole followed proper rules and procedures,” he said. “I had to be unbiased and indifferent to House stuff, which was really hard when I had an idea or view on a certain subject. I had to swallow my opinion and keep quiet.”

    Johnson said if elected, he would like to rebuild the reputation of SGA by directly interacting with the student body.

    “You don’t have to be a representative to attend House meetings,” he said. “You may not have a vote but you still have a voice. I suppose it’s just a matter of letting that voice be heard.”

    -Courtney Reese contributed to this report