By: Peter Hohman – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton Student Government Association held its first general elections for class senators from Sept. 10-17. Every UD student had the opportunity to vote on candidates for student-held positions including class senators.
The initial outlook in the election was promising. There was a large turnout of students at SGA’s information meeting. A road bump occurred, however, when many of the students who were running for class senator failed to comply with SGA’s eligibility rules.
“[Failure to comply with eligibility rules] could be anything from not getting enough petition signatures to not submitting their candidacy contracts or not submitting their financial forms,” SGA President Sarah Dickson said.
SGA’s goal for this upcoming year was to target first-year students and raise awareness for new students who might not know much about student government. Dickson said she was “very proud” of SGA’s ability to recruit first-year students to run for a student government position. This year there were seven first-year students on the ballot for class senator. Upperclassmen, on the other hand, were a different story.
Due to the lack of candidates running for positions in the first elections, SGA decided to host a second round of elections with the hopes of seeing more upperclassmen run for positions.
“Overall we were a little disappointed for people that came out for the first round, which is why we decided to do a second round of upperclassmen elections,” Dickson said.
The second round of elections went from Sept. 22-24, and SGA was hoping to see a better turnout. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
After two consecutive weeks of elections, SGA still has not filled six of its 16 student senator positions. This means that because of low turnout for the student government and inability to fill the required SGA positions through an election, the remaining six positions will be filled by appointment.
This was not an ideal situation for UD’s student government, but SGA continues to try expanding on campus and raising awareness for what student government does.
Although the latest election results are not necessarily a step in the right direction, there are still signs that SGA is getting bigger. Its increased social media presence has helped get the word out to even more students, and since the summer, its gained 400 followers on Twitter.
“It’s all about getting back in touch with the students again and getting people involved,” Dickson said.
As for how SGA will move forward, President Sarah Dickson and Vice President Elaine Laux ask students to come forward with their thoughts and concerns. Both Dickson and Laux represent the student body when they meet with the dean of students, and they think that student participation in SGA is critical to making accurately conveying students’ feelings.
“The only way we can know what the students are thinking is if they tell us,” Laux said.
“Our job is to take student’s concerns to the administration,” Dickson said. “We’re trying to solve the problem, so tell us what you think.”