The Students’ Association Senate spring elections begin next week as students will have the opportunity to vote for their class and at-large representatives to the body. Also, elections will take place in an attempt to fill the vacated Hill Court and Graduate Living Center positions that are typically elected in the fall.
In all, the Senate will be looking to fill 13 positions — two for each class, four at-large, two for Hill Court and one for GLC. Only one person is running to represent the Class of 2004 and currently no one is running to represent GLC.
Junior, Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Election Committee Stephen Duszlak said that he was disappointed that all the positions were uncontested, but he felt like the committee had done as much as it could possibly do to get the word out.
“Unfortunately, all the races aren’t contested,” he said. “We’ve done our best to publicize interest meetings, but we can’t force people to take an interest in student government.”
TimingThe elections are happening about a month earlier than last year’s senate elections in response to conflicts that occurred last year when the outgoing senators voted on the incoming speaker.
“By moving the Senate election to an earlier date, new Senators will be able to vote for their next Speaker after having gained some experience in the body,” he said.
Two years ago, the Senate had decided to combine the Senate and President elections in an effort to increase voter turn-out.
Last year’s spring election hit some major snags when several students claimed that the initial meetings required to get on the ballot were poorly publicized and because they missed the meetings, they were not placed on the ballot. After appealing the decision to the All-Campus Judicial Council, five candidates were placed on the ballot and the election was postponed a week.
To avoid similar controversy this year, Duszlak said that in addition to plastering the campus with posters, the Election Committee sent out a campus wide e-mail and purchased a half-page ad in the Campus Times for the first time.
Take Five Scholar and Speaker of the Senate Ashley Conner said she looks forward to seeing new senators around the table but that she also hopes they realize they are in for commitment.
“I just hope that whoever wins each race has made the decision to run based upon the desire to work hard for the Students’ Association,” she said.
How to voteElections will begin next Monday at 10 a.m. and will remain open until 10 p.m. Wednesday. They will be completely done through the SA’s new Web voting system that was first used in the fall and can be accessed from a link at www.sa.rochester.edu.
For candidates’ platforms, see pages eight and nine. For more information about the process, contact Duszlak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hildebrandt can be reached at thildebrandt @campustimes.org.