File period for fall SGA election opens Monday
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 00:09
The opportunity to either join or choose student senators for the 66th session will return will return with the opening of a filing period for the Fall 2013 Election Cycle.
Filing begins at 10 a.m. on Monday September 16th and will continue until Friday September 20th. A mandatory candidates meeting will then be held September 22nd, followed by a week of campaigning. Voting will open on September 26th and 27th, and results will be announced that Friday night.
Election Commissioner senior biomedical sciences major Allison Krenzien said the relatively new election process is designed to avoid runoff election, or the voting that takes place when there is no majority between candidates.
“Candidates will be ranked from number one, most preferred, to number six, least preferred,” Krenzien said. “Those with the least amount of number one votes will be eliminated and their ballots are then recounted, with their vote being reassigned to the number two choice on those ballots. This process essentially eliminates runoff.”
A total of 13 seats are vacant for this election cycle, including two seats reserved for freshmen at the star of each year. Former student senator and senior agricultural leadership and development major Robbie Cimmino gave some insight as to why this amount of seats may be vacant.
“The most common reason is due to absences, in which case they’re removed from the Senate. Graduation (of Senators) is another. ” Cimmino said. “One extremely uncommon reason is that students would run for senate, vote on whatever issue they wanted to vote on and then leave. Again, that’s very rare.”
Campaigning begins September 23rd and a period of modified campaigning and voting begins September 26th. During the general campaigning period, students can pass out fliers and make themselves known, but during the modified campaigning period, students will no longer be able to hand out fliers and signs will have to explicitly state voting is open.
Cimmino said the experience of campaigning for Student Senate was unique.
“When you campaign, there are people that desperately want you to win,” Cimmino said. “It was interesting to talk to complete strangers and get them motivated to vote for you. It was cool to see.”
This is the second year fall Student Senate vacancy seats are filled through an election process as the previous method was through an application. Senate Speaker Christopher Russo explained how the Senate responded to student feedback of the application process.
“There were a lot of accusations that these processes were not carried out correctly or thoroughly enough, so it was decided in the 64th session that it would be easier to fill vacancies through fall elections,” Russo said.
Russo said students with the desire to serve and gain exposure to the way campus, city, and state government works should run for a vacancy spot.
“The Student Senate is a very good leadership opportunity and an opportunity to change our campus for the better,” Russo said. “Students who are dedicated to serve and who want to achieve often lofty goals.”
Students interested in filling a vacancy for the student senate or any other position must go online at election.tamu.edu and pay a $10 filing fee.