Class Senate Elections Held

Hansoo Kim

The Student Government Association (SGA) held elections for the Student Senate last Thursday. However, the Classes of 2009 and 2010 did not have their elections.

Each class holds its own election, and although many run for positions, there are only twelve senators per class. This year the senior and junior classes did not have elections because not enough people ran for positions.

The Class of 2010 had 12 candidates running for the senate, so as a result all candidates were given a position automatically. The Class of 2009 had eight candidates running, so those eight have all been given positions as well. The remaining four slots for the senior class are available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Any student can run for the senate. The student must pick up a petition from the SGA office, have it signed by a number of people in their class and hand it in with a 100-word statement describing himself or herself and why someone should vote for him or her. On election day, students log into their portal accounts and vote online.

With this relatively easy process, why did so few people run for positions in the junior and senior class? Is there a lack of interest in student government?

According to SGA president senior David Kusnetz, that is not the whole story.

“It is true that seniors may not feel as inclined to be involved in the student government,” Kusnetz said. “It’s their last year, they’re on their way out, so they have less motive to be active in it.” This may be expected of the senior class.

The junior class results were also apparently not a big surprise.

“There is a good chunk of juniors who are abroad right now,” elections commissioner sophomore Andrew Eldredge said. “A lot of the students are away, and so we can predict there will be less people running to represent that smaller group.”

“What’s also important to remember is that this process is relatively new. The new student constitution was written two years ago,” Kusnetz said. “Before that, we had senators by dorm, not by class. We’re still working out some kinks in the process.”

Fortunately, there were no problems with the elections for the classes of 2011 and 2012.

“It was very impressive,” Eldredge said. “In the first-year class, 26 people ran for positions, and in the sophomore class there were 22 candidates. We were glad to see the amount of interest.”

The SGA has many initiatives, and the senate plays an important part.

“The power of the senate is in its representation,” Kusnetz said. “Senators have leverage in negotiating because they represent a certain percentage of the student body. They can be active voices for their classmates.”

This year some of the SGA’s goals are to reform the textbook policy at the Colgate Bookstore, work on environmental awareness and initiatives on campus and take a look at the Office of Residential Life’s policies and processes.

Class council elections are next Tuesday, and there are also governance board elections. Class council positions are available to all students, and students who are sophomores or older can be in the governance boards. Students who would like to learn more about SGA can visit the office in the O’Connor Campus Center.