By I.M Kero
The Student Government Association sponsored a mock presidential primary poll during the fall semester in 2015. It was one of the few rare instances where the SGA actually performed an event that dealt in government and politics. On their Facebook page, an info graphic was developed to present some of the statistics and the primary results.
The poll had 715 participants, which is relatively small in comparison to TAMIU’s student population which edges toward 8,000 students. The polls were held in public by the Student Center building. Students were asked to caucus between the two main political parties. The Republicans had their long list of candidates. The Democrats only had their remaining three. Leading the poll most significantly was the Independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. He leads the poll with 66.91%. Behind him was former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with 29.04%. At third and leading the Republican field was Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 20.47%. Of the 715 participants, 544 had participated in the Democratic poll while 171 participated in the Republican poll.
Senator Sanders has been polling nationwide very well with the young people, especially those in college. His proposals on raising the minimum wage to $15/hour and providing tuition-free college have been very favorable among them. Secretary Clinton has taken less leftist views on some of the matters. Her platform has focused more on making college more affordable through increased funding towards Federal Financial Aid—a commodity that is well valued among TAMIU students. Through not entirely favored by the college demographic, Clinton is well supported by labor unions, congressional leadership, and members of the White House, but not including the Oval Office. Currently, Sanders polls higher than Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The poll done here is a good example of the SGA promoting politics and democracy among TAMIU students. However, this poll still leaves some lingering questions. The first question is: how many more of these polls will students continue to see throughout this election year? If so, will the SGA act further to increase participation? The participants for this polls in similar to the participants in the yearly student presidential elections. The next question concerns the findings of the results. There was a grand majority favoring the Democrats. TAMIU’s current student-body president, Joshua Llamas Galvan, is a known Republican favoring Florida congressman Marco Rubio. Rubio polled with 18.13% and placed fifth on the SGA’s poll. That being understood, will SGA promote policies in line with Democratic views similar to those of the City of Laredo or does the SGA, or at least its president, have their own agenda with the Republicans in Austin?