In this three-part election series, Flyer News follows the spring election cycle of UD’s Student Government Association by talking to SGA representatives, candidates and committee members.
Zoë Hill | News Editor
The University of Dayton’s Student Government Association hopes to usher in a new wave of representatives with its upcoming election.
SGA’s spring election will elect a new president, vice president, vice president of finance, vice president of communications, director of campus unity, director of special programs, director of Marianist involvement, director of academic affairs and an academic representative for each of the schools.
First-year political science major Joseph Abboud serves as the Elections Chair for SGA. He said he is excited to oversee the election process. The Elections Committee’s top priority right now is attracting students to the various SGA roles up for grabs, according to Abboud.
“We don’t want any uncontested seats,” he said. “We want to give the students the ability to make a choice.”
That choice starts with students who express interest in representing the student body. Those students are required to attend one of two information sessions held on March 4 and 6 in Kennedy Union 310. After the session, students can declare their intent to run by filling out candidacy forms.
The campaign begins March 21 and candidates can then post fliers around campus, buy advertising through campus media, interact with the student body on social media, hold campaign tabling hours and even hand out buttons, shirts, and stickers after getting them approved by SGA.
After being appointed the chair, Abboud contributed to making the process more straightforward and transparent by eliminating confusing language and making the election information more accessible.
“When I found out the name of my job was ‘chair of the Strategic Planning of Elections and Campaigns Committee,’ I told them ‘Elections Committee’ was so much simpler, so much easier,” Abboud said. “I want people to understand what’s going on. We want transparency.”
A key piece of his mission to make the election process transparent is providing clear, succinct information for all candidates. Housed within a shared Google Drive that he refers to as the “Citadel,” candidates can find all forms, links, rules and requirements necessary to run for SGA office.
“All the information is there [in the Citadel],” Abboud said. “It’s in your hands.”
Anyone in good disciplinary and academic standing with the university is eligible to run for any of the open positions. This means all class years and majors are invited and welcome to share the responsibility of governing the student body, which Abboud said is a powerful and meaningful duty as a UD student.
“People don’t realize that SGA has a lot of power at UD. There’s opportunity to actually enact meaningful change,” Abboud said. “If we have people with passion who can push us forward, everyone wins.”