Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SMC Student Association Elections

Hey, hey, hey!

This week on campus, the big event is Student Association elections. The Student Association is our student government. Their official description from the website is: 

'The Student Association (S.A.) is the governing voice of the student body. The S.A. provides the financial and organizational backing of most clubs and activities that happen on campus. This is an organization run for the students and by the students.'

The Student Association plans the spring concert (This year, it's Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) and funds clubs like the Investment Club, French Club, or Aca Bellas.

Meet Brittany and Mike
Students can run for president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and senator for their class year. You can also run for representatives of particular residence halls. Then, of course, you can run for the president or vice president of the entire student association. 

Don't worry if you are in the class of 2015! You guys run for your class offices when you get here. :)

I am not personally involved with the student association, but I am currently writing the article for the Defender about the elections. It's the rough draft, but you are getting a sneak peek.

LOOK RIGHT -----> That's Mike and Brittany. They are running for VP and President. Both of them are unopposed, so it looks like we are going to see them at the top of the SA totem pole next year :)

Okay, I'm off! 
The Saint Michael’s College Student Association elections are underway, but voters are going to the find that the ballot is shockingly empty.
            The class of 2014 has no candidates for Treasurer. The class of 2012 lacks candidates for Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Senators. Perhaps that most shocking are the lack of candidates for class of 2013 President and Vice President. For the candidates who have their names on the ballot, many are running unopposed.
 When asked about the apparent absence of political campaigning, David Schulz, secretary of student policy, said, “We do encourage people to put up posters. Facebook groups are also a big thing that is sort of a virtual poster.” I think students vote based on name recognition, Schulz said. 
The one major campaigning effort, an open forum, took place on Tuesday evening, allowing candidates to speak to the constituents as well as answer their questions. Questions ranged from “How do you plan to communicate with your constituents?” to “Do you think your love of ‘shredding the gnar’ will effect your ability to perform your duties?”
The candidates for the highest positions, president and vice president, are running unopposed. Junior Mike Jablonski is running for Student Association Vice President.
“I realized, out of left field, that I was interested and I wanted a new way to get involved senior year,” he said.
This is his first time running for a student association position, he said. Jablonski hopes to open the lines of communication and hear the opinions of the average student.
“I’m not talking about those who attend SA meetings,” he said in his speech. “We all know how long those go.”
Jablonski said he wants to get in touch with all the people who don’t hold leadership roles on campus.  When Jablonski was acquiring the signatures to get on the ballot, he joked with his peers that he would fight for snow days every time there is a dusting, he said.
Jablonski’s close friend, Brittany Richardson, is running for the presidency. Richardson has years of experience in school politics and even admitted that she has experience losing elections during her speech at the forum.
Richardson has little to worry about in this election, as her name stands alone on the ballot. There is a miniscule chance that a write-in candidate will take the presidency, said Schulz.
Richardson said that she is qualified for the position because of all the on-campus activities she is involved. “I know a lot of the school and I’m connected to it,” she said.
As for being unopposed, Richardson said it is because of a misconception about the SA. “They think that as SA president you are just a figurehead and that you don’t actually do anything,” said Richardson.
Her goal as SA president is to increase SA involvement. “The first step is to get the word out there,” she said, “Tell me people what it does and what they can do for the students. Richardson said that increasing involvement is a goal that has been popular amongst presidential candidates for years.
“I think a lot of the time people expect the e-board to just figure it out and I think it is a good time to start thinking about how can everyone change things,” she said.

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