Thursday, September 28

Student government elections will be held online

Election process to change amidst classes moving off campus.

Beginning April 6 and ending on April 9, SGA executive elections will be taking place online via SurveyMonkey, an online survey software, which students will be able to access from an email sent on Monday.

The necessity to change from the original plan of students voting using Google Forms at on-campus locations came after students were asked to leave campus as a safety plan amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wanted to find the perfect balance between vote security but also something that’s still relatively accessible. Something that will result in high voter turnout,” said Zack Church, apartments resident director currently overseeing SGA.

Campaign speeches have been uploaded through Panopto, a video platform used by Trevecca, as the chapel that would typically host them never occurred due to the transition of moving students off campus. A link to access the video speeches was sent in an email on Friday, and students are able to view them prior to voting. On Monday, a link will be sent to students to access the voting once it is open.

Blackboard was originally considered as an option for online remote voting as it was used in the past for elections in 2017, but during those elections voter turnout was lower and for this year someone would need to be trained on how to use the system, so Mara Hogan, online learning specialist, suggested SurveyMonkey.

“We were looking at the timeline, and we don’t have enough time to train people since we only have three weeks left… the system would be complicated to learn in one week,” said Stephany Ordonez, ASB vice president. “Maybe in the future they could implement that.”

After voting is complete, they’ll evaluate whether the integrity of the votes was preserved and decide then whether or not to shift back to voting via Blackboard, said Church.

“At first, I was really hesitant to do SurveyMonkey because I didn’t know how reliable it was… but then Zack found the option of filtering who votes and we were able to input all the emails from the students at Trevecca,” said Ordonez. “He was able to figure out how to see who opens the link via email or who opens it from somewhere else.”

Class council elections are still occurring, and will have an application sent out on Monday, but a date for the elections has yet to be determined.

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