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Saint Mary’s SGA revamps election process

Kaitlyn Rabach | Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Campaigning for Saint Mary’s open Student Government Association (SGA) Senate positions will begin on Saturday at 5 p.m., Student Body President Kat Sullivan said.

The elections, which will start at midnight on Sept. 16 and last 24 hours, will be administered by  SGA’s election committee and the Office of Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS). Students will be able to vote via OrgSync, and SIMS office representatives will also be in the Student Center Atrium on election day to encourage students to participate in the election process, Sullivan said.

“Elections have always been handled by just the elections committee within student government,” Sullivan said. “This year, we think it is important for the administration to take a more active role in the election process, and that is why the SIMS office is offering its guidance to the election committee.”

This change in election monitoring is one of many changes being made to the structure of the Senate this year, Sullivan said.

“Senate was only introduced into SGA’s structure last year,” Sullivan said. “After evaluating its success last year, [Vice President Maddy Martin] and I wanted to make sure there was more campus-wide representation on Senate.”

Currently, the Senate is the only voting body in student government and is composed of two members per class, Sullivan said.

“Right now, the Senate’s main responsibilities are to vote and decide on our six-figure budget and to revise the Constitution,” Sullivan said.

She said SGA has been talking over possibilities for revisions in the constitution and the general structure of the Senate.

“All of what we are discussing are just ideas right now, but we would like to add one more voting member to the Senate and would like other non-voting members to have more of a presence in Senate,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she would like a Belles Connect Leader to be the added voting member. She said she would like representatives from each of the major boards to be non-voting members, along with an international representative and a Sophia Program chair.

“We want the presidents of Student Diversity Board, Residence Hall Association and Student Activities Board to be able to participate in Senate discussions,” Sullivan said. “They need to be a part of the decisions that go into the budget and constitution changes. Those decisions largely affect those main boards.”

With an effort to make SGA more transparent, Sullivan said Senate meetings will continue to be run in a “town hall” style and will be open to the public.

“We want the Saint Mary’s campus community to know what is going on in SGA,” Sullivan said.

As of now, Sullivan said the proposed changes will have to be discussed and finalized when the Senate first convenes after the election process.

“Nothing is set in stone yet,” Sullivan said. “These are ideas out on the table, but we would like set an agenda and make major changes to the Constitution that will last this year and hopefully for years to come.”

She said she is excited for the changes being discussed in SGA and is looking forward to new members joining the SGA community.

“It is so important to find your niche on campus and make sure your voice is being heard,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said those who wish to run for an elected Senate position must submit a platform to her by Friday at 5 p.m.

For more information on running for a Senate position, contact Sullivan at [email protected] or attend an informational meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the SGA office.

Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at [email protected]