Inside GUSA’s Exit Poll

If you made it through the nine rounds of IRV voting in the first election, you probably noticed the Exit Poll GUSA tacked on to the end. GUSA Speaker of the Senate Eden Schiffman said the poll was an effort to figure out who was (and was not) participating in GUSA and what was most important to them.

The Freshman and Sophomore classes cast the most votes—31% of voters were Sophomores, 29% were Freshmen. Blame it on being jaded or simply smaller class sizes, the Junior class accounted for only 20% and the Seniors were a mere 12% (7% didn’t respond).

Voting was pretty estrogen-heavy, even if the field of candidates wasn’t. 49% of voters were female, 42% were male (9% didn’t respond).

The racial breakdown was a pretty accurate reflection of the University’s composition. The participation rates for minorities were slightly higher than their percentage of the student, body, but not significantly so. 67% of voters identified as White (non-Hispanic), 7% Hispanic, 8% African-American, 9% Asian, 7% Other and 12% did not respond. According to statistics on the University website, 6.4% of students are Hispanic, 6.7% are African-American and 8.7% are Asian.

The biggest determinant in who people voted for was face-to-face meetings (56% of voters checked that box), followed by candidates’ platforms (34%). Club and Paper Endorsements came in last, influencing a measly 13% of voters. So much for the power of the Fourth Estate…

Some took the free-response “What are you looking for in your candidates?” question as chance to engage the time-honored Georgetown past-time of GUSA-bashing—one response was “Inability to deal with simple problems and overall ineptitude”—but most answered pretty earnestly. Common themes were leadership ability, dedication to the job, charisma, enthusiasm, experience, honesty and the ability to represent students and communicate with administrators.

There was a split between those who wanted the president to address the school’s alcohol policy—“alcohol policy reform” was one of the most common phrases—and those who wanted to move past it, i.e. “Someone who seems to understand there is a world beyond the alcohol policy.”

It looks like the national presidential campaign trickled down into GUSA race a bit. One voter wanted someone with “the strength to lead in this post-9/11 world, while others were looking for “change I can believe,” “Someone who can bring change. Like Matt Appenfeller. Yes we can .. hope” or, to put it bluntly, “A president that is like Barack Obama.”

A few wanted a nominee who would channel past-presidents—“Ben Shaw Re-incarnated” or “twister 2.0, someone with a cool name.”

Here are a few of my other personal favorites:
“Attractiveness, Promiscuity, Drinking Habits, and Religion”
“Being a sweet bro and magical powers”
“Chicken, Bacon, Cheese, Onions, Peppers, Bread, Barack Obama”
“feathers and ability to count. Seriously. No, seriously.”
“Height, Hair and Optimism.”
“Someone who is chill and not a pinko, gay loving, anticatholic communist”
and, finally, whoever wrote “The Voice’s endorsement is key”

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