SA will be holding a Spring election to choose class council members, senators, and the next SA president and vice-president. Just like any other year. Only now, everything’s online.
The voting period is longer than usual to accommodate students voting remotely, who may have to deal with time differences or technology issues.
Campaigns began online on Sunday. This year, there are 33 students running for 14 open Senate seats. (The list of candidates and their platforms can be found here.) The primary goal of Senators — and SA in general — is to advocate for and represent the student body to UR administration. SA also oversees the funding and organization of most clubs and student organizations on campus.
SA uses approval-based voting, which means you can vote for as many (or as few) candidates as you want. You could vote for all of your favorites, or you could vote against a particular candidate by voting for everybody except them.
The three students who get the most votes in each class year will win a Senate seat. Five more seats will go to the remaining top five vote-getters from any year. In total, there will be 18 senators next year, but the final four Senators will be incoming first-years, who are elected in the fall.
The president and vice-president of SA are responsible for overseeing the organization as a whole, and often act as the spokesperson for SA, by sending out emails to the student body or meeting with administrators. They also appoint a cabinet to help them with their duties. There are two presidential/vice-president tickets running this semester.
One ticket, juniors Justyna Gorka for president and Marc Haddad for vice-president, touts a central goal of restructuring SA so it’s better equipped to deal with the problems facing campus. The platform also proposed increasing mental health resources on campus, ensuring more support for students going through the Title IX office, and streamlining the club funding process.
The other ticket, sophomores Ian Krager for president and Isabel Murphy for vice-president, outline on their website four main tenets of their platform: expanding mental and emotional health resources, tackling bias through equity and inclusion, helping UR reduce its waste and carbon footprint, and getting UR more involved in the surrounding community.
Though students are scattered across the globe, there will still be a presidential debate this Thursday. The two teams will hash it out over Zoom on April 2 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. It will be recorded for those who can’t tune in live.
Entirely separate from SA, (but funded and overseen by them) is Class Council. These groups, separated by class year, are responsible for planning class-specific events and promoting school spirit. They organize events like study breaks, spirit weeks, and the “Feel the Sting” tee-shirt giveaways.
Even if a candidate is still on campus, there is no physical or in-person campaigning allowed. Campaigns this year will operate through websites and social media posts only.
Election results for all open positions will be up on April 8, at around noon EST, according to the YouTube video.