Mississippi College

Students Go To The Polls Today

September 11, 2007

Familiar names like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Fred Thompson didn't appear on the ballot today as hundreds of Mississippi College students went to the polls.

Rather, it was names like freshmen Darielle Turnipseed, Davis Lofton and Justin Hillhouse who were among those vying for office. Students voted on a Clinton campus loaded with campaign signs and tents set up to woo potential supporters. MC undergraduates cast ballots in separate contests for the Freshman Class Senate and the secretary of the Student Government Association.

Polls stayed open from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the MC cafeteria, with SGA officials to tally the results tonight.

"My family is real involved in politics and I care a lot about MC," said senior Lindsay Buffington, 21, of Mount Olive, one of two candidates for SGA secretary in a special election. "I want change to occur."

Buffington, a 2004 Collins High graduate who's a political science major, was facing stiff competition from MC junior Amy Bergeron of Ridgeland, whose campaign had some large signs spotted around campus. They were seeking to fill an SGA vacancy.

Under her white tent covered with beads near Nelson Hall, Buffington was giving away hats and stickers and other items. She spent $100 to $150 on the campaign. A former student senator, Buffington is a member of the Swannanoa social tribe.

MC sophomore James Tucker, 20, an accounting major from Eunice, La., stopped by her booth for a few minutes before heading to class. He promised to vote after grabbing a quick meal in the cafeteria. "It's good to get involved," said Tucker, a former Choctaws football player. "This is a good way for people to make changes to make this a better school."

Buffington is familiar with Mississippi politics. Her father, B. Scott Buffington, is county prosecutor in Covington County. Her uncle is running for the Mississippi Senate.

This morning, SGA chief of staff Harley McAlexander, 20, a junior from Clinton, sat at the voting table in the cafeteria and keeping tabs on the number of students participating. More than 535 freshmen were eligible to vote for up to nine slots in the Freshman Class Senate. It was campus-wide participation for the SGA secretary post. Most of the student government elections will occur next semester at MC. At the same time, it's going to be a lively year for American voters embroiled in presidential politics.

PHOTO: MC Senior Lindsay Buffington, 21, of Mount Olive, one of two candidates for SGA secretary in a special election, works to secure a vote from James Tucker, an MC sophomore of Eunice, LA.

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