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Association continues to hold board elections

Kristen Rice | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) will continue holding elections today.

The Saint Mary’s student body will be participating in elections for the Class Boards, Student Diversity Board (SDB), Student Activities Board (SAB) and Residence Hall Association (RHA).

Student Body president Nicole Gans said last week’s election was successful since student participation nearly doubled from previous elections.

“There was a big impact to students and faculty,” she said. “We should feel really proud of ourselves.”

One of SGA’s goals this year, student body vice president Jackie Zupancic said, has been to bring about more participation in elections.

She said using emails and stationing booths around different parts of campus to promote elections was effective.

SGA faced a challenge this week, however, when the Saint Mary’s email system Zimbra went down. Since Zimbra is still not working at full capacity this week, SGA had to decide on an alternative way of holding student elections.

Typically, students are sent a link in their email accounts allowing them to vote online to make the calculation process significantly easier.

SGA had two alternative options to choose from — initiating a paper ballot vote for the election or postponing elections for two weeks.

Student Diversity Board president Kelly Reidenbach said she believed using paper ballots was the better choice.

“Do the paper ballots tomorrow, because there is a lot going on when we come back from break,” she said Wednesday. “Many people are going to be busy.”

Various members of SGA expressed their concerns and suggestions, but SGA ultimately decided it would be in the best interest of the candidates and the student body if a paper ballot was taken today.

SGA spent a majority of the meeting working out the logistics of the paper ballot, particularly how they would be able to keep track of students who have voted.

The voting booth will be located in the atrium of the Student Center. Elections will begin today at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

There will be paper ballots for each class and each ballot will also contain the name of candidates running for SAB, SDB and RHA.  

“If anyone votes for more than one class president, their vote will be nullified,” Gans said. “We have to have the same enthusiasm we had for last weeks election.”