This year's Spring General Election at UNC is around the corner, with early voting on Feb. 8 through Feb. 9 and election day on Feb. 14.
This cycle elects multiple student leadership positions: student body president, the undergraduate and graduate presidents, the senior class president and vice president, the Carolina Athletic Association president, the Residence Hall Association president and all undergraduate senators.
Ballot petitions were due Wednesday. The initial list of certified candidates were published on Thursday. The final list of certified candidates will be made public by Feb. 3.
This year’s election is especially important because alongside a new interim chancellor, there are opportunities for change, Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate Andrew Gary said.
“Student government, at its best, can do a lot of things for students,” Gary said. “But we are only at our best when students care to engage with it.”
Tyler Rohrig, acting vice chair for the Board of Elections, said the board is exploring as many means as possible to ensure students engage with the election. He said these include sending out mass emails, promoting the election on their Instagram account and possibly setting up tables in the Pit on Feb. 14, election day.
According to UNC Board of Election's records, only 14.43 percent of the 31,117 eligible voters filled out a ballot in last year’s spring student body elections. Yet, it was the highest turnout in multiple years.
In 2022, only 13.72 percent of eligible undergraduates voted. The year prior in 2021, the turnout was 11.17 percent.
Both Gary and Board of Elections Chair Sophie Van Duin said they understand many people don’t vote because they view UNC student government as being similar to high school student governments — party planning and organizing school dances.