A long, bitter ASUN election came to an end Thursday morning when Better for UNL conceded the election to the Encompass Party. However, one development from the election has UNL administrators scratching their head.
Bitterness and apathy that a grueling campaign season creates often causes students to avoid voting altogether by the end of it. However, voters reportedly turned out by the thousands for one similar reason: Runza.
“We poll students every year to understand what motivates them to vote,” said Vice-Chancellor Juan Franco. “This year, we heard a lot of students saying that they wanted to ‘protect Runza’, and ‘the Difference is Real, vote no to repeal!’, which were honestly completely unexpected responses.”
At the time of writing, there were no disclosed plans from any candidate that threatened to jeopardize Runza’s on-campus location in the Nebraska Union. Nevertheless, voters made it clear that they were committed to protecting the popular fast-food chain for at least another year.
Despite the surprise, Franco is happy to have the feedback.
“The survey is here to get this kind of feedback, no matter how critical. We need it to improve.”
Students who The DailyER interviewed weren’t as surprised.
“I think students were empowered to stand up for what they believe in,” explained senior English major Michael Patrick. “In my four years on campus, this is the first time I’ve seen the student body adamantly support a pro-Runza candidate. It’s important that our student leaders share our ideals on the issues that matter most.”
Junior mechanical engineering major Martha Hernandez agreed with Patrick’s sentiment.
“We knew that we had to stand up for what was right,” Hernandez said. “There was nothing specifically about Runza on the ballot this year, but there’s really no way to know what’s on that thing beforehand. I’m glad we played it safe.”