After postponing senate elections in March, the Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SRSGA) is set to hold elections next week.
Voting, taking place online through CORE, will begin Sept. 9 at 8 a.m. and end Sept. 11 at noon.
This will be the first elections implementing the new senate structure since it was implemented in February. The new structure adds 13 senator positions and shifts focus away from the residence halls and toward the four academic colleges at SRU.
Elections for two executive board positions, Speaker of the Senate and Parliamentarian, will be held at the same time.
Amanda Reilly, SRSGA vice president of outreach, said it is important that voices are heard on campus and student government is the best way to do that.
“Not all students are comfortable speaking up but if you are, do it,” Reilly said. “You can speak for hundreds of students.”
Reilly, who previously served as a freshman senator, said the position can appear intimidating with the responsibility and time commitment involved, but those who are open and try their best will have success.
“We will make it work for you if you put your best foot forward,” Reilly said.
Compared to her time in student government in high school, Reilly said members of SRSGA are more than just a title. Members have the power and responsibility to make positive changes for the campus community and members past and present have “put their heart and soul into the campus.”
Along with weekly meetings, senators are required to sit on one of six committees. With the pandemic still affecting much of the country, the SRSGA will meet virtually through Zoom this semester.
Reilly said incoming senators and their committees will be the ones to set agendas and goals for what they want to accomplish but expects in the current climate, human rights issues will be a big focus this semester.
She added that one of SRSGA’s responsibilities is understanding the best way to format the campus for everyone. Reilly said having the senators coming from the different colleges, along with differing perspectives from freshman, graduate, veteran and international students will give the body a diverse lens to view issues in.
With most students not on campus, Reilly expects that much of the campaigning will happen through social media. While candidates are still allowed to campaign on campus, following all university guidelines, there is no expectation they do so, Reilly said.
Elected senators will be sworn in Sept. 14 and SRSGA will have an informal meeting afterward for members to get to know one another.
Reilly said some years there is a lot of competition for positions and at other times there is only one candidate per position.
During last semester’s executive board elections, only the president position saw more than one candidate run. As of Monday, SRSGA had received three senator applications and two for Parliamentarian.
SRSGA members must be full-time students and have a GPA greater than 2.5.
Applications for the senator and executive board positions close at noon on Sept. 4. Students wanting to apply can submit their application through CORE.