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Association prepares for student elections

Kristen Rice | Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) is preparing for elections set to take place at the beginning of March.

The Observer reported Monday that SGA introduced a new organizational structure for the 2012-2013 school year. SGA held a meeting Wednesday night for potential candidates running for positions within the new structure in Senate, SGA, Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Diversity Board (SDB), Class Boards and Residence Hall Association (RHA).

SGA chief of staff and senior Emily Skirtich gave attendees information about campaigning, highlighting its positive elements.

“This should be a fun process for everyone,” Skirtich said.

Students were informed about campaign platforms, which students will use to advertise their views, beliefs and why they want to run for office.

Any student running for Senate will have their own personal platform, while students with running mates will have one platform for the entire ticket. There are specific guidelines that each candidate must follow in order to participate in elections, Skirtich said.

Concerns about election violations, such as vandalizing another candidate’s poster or students voting for their own tickets more than once, were also addressed.

All candidates must get approval for all campaign materials by the Elections Committee and the Office of Student Involvement, Skirtich said. For Senate and SGA, the last day to get approval is Feb. 24. Any student planning on running for election on a Class Board, SAB, SDB or RHA must get approval by March 2.

Any student who may not get a position in the Senate or SGA still has an opportunity to be involved in one of these activities, Skirtich said.

“There are plenty of ways to be involved, so do not be discouraged if you do not get the initial position that you want,” she said.

Changes will be made to the voting process to raise awareness, SGA vice president and senior Jacqualyn Zupancic said. SGA has decided to not only send links by email, but also allow students to vote in the Student Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Another informational meeting will be held tonight at 6 p.m. for interested students. Campaigning for office will begin at the end of February.

Voting for SGA and Senate will take place March 1, while voting for Class Boards, SAB, SDB and RHA will take place March 8.