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The Indiana elections are over, and only a narrow margin prevented an IUP student from gaining a seat on the Indiana Borough Council.
Students who supported Taralyn Federoff (senior, political science) may be disappointed that neither she nor alumna Jennifer Gonda-English will be representing the student population as 3rd Ward borough council members, but their respective write-in campaigns tallied a considerable amount of votes for such a last-minute effort.
Gonda-English (R) received 115 votes – only 53 behind Council President Nancy Jones (D), who had 168 votes, and then 68 votes behind incumbent Richard Thorell with his 183.
That means 115 people wrote down Gonda-English’s name on the ballot, and Federoff (D) wasn’t far behind with 104 votes. The two ran their write-in campaigns on the premise that they would represent the interests of the students who occupy much of the 3rd Ward, which is west of South Seventh Street and south of Philadelphia Street.
Such an effort will likely be noted by the community in general, but for students it should be cause for reflection. As of recently posted results, of the 7,247 registered voters in the 3rd Ward, only 790 cast their ballots.
That means just 10.9 percent of the registered voters showed up to the polls, and it’s likely that many of those who didn’t vote were students. If students want a voice on the Indiana Borough Council, they’ll have to consider what sort of participation will be needed.
This election showed a substantial turnout on the part of the students, but for more favorable results, a much more coordinated effort is needed.