SGA to hold elections on Tuesday: Ballot will not feature referendum questions

SGA elections will be held on Tuesday, April 18, on CollegiateLink between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Students can vote for SGA candidates and the candidates for the faculty, staff and administrator of the year award.

According to SGA President Ezequiel De Leon, voting tables will be set up in the McCarthy Center lobby from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

De Leon said SGA will not have referendum questions for students to vote on. He added, “We don’t have much money left to play with this year.”

According to SGA bylaws, the ballots will be counted on CollegiateLink. The results will be given to the SGA Advisor to be distributed to SGA’s Election Committee.

After efforts have been made to contact all the candidates, the results will be posted on the SGA bulletin board and submitted to The Gatepost, according to SGA bylaws.

According to De Leon, contested positions include President, Student Trustee, SGA Class and Club Treasurer, Class of 2018 Treasure and Class for 2018 Secretary.

“This year there are more contested positions then there usually are. So, I think it’s a testament to the engagement level on campus and I think it reflects very well on our school and the quality of students we have here,” said De Leon.

According to Madison Alper, SGA election committee co-chair, the candidates had to be self-nominated and get 15 student signatures. Candidates running for senate and class officer positions had to get signatures from students in their graduating class.

SGA bylaws state write-in candidate must receive at least five write-in votes in order to be eligible to be elected to the respective position.

“If someone gets seven votes and you get five, they still win. But you still need five write-ins to be considered for the position,” said De Leon.

Alper said write-in candidates can run for all positions, which include e-Board, senate and class officer.

According to De Leon, two students have expressed interest in being write-in candidates.

All candidates running must follow SGA campaign regulations stated in its bylaws.

“We have very strict campaigning regulations and rules. It’s good because it makes it a very fair playing ground for everyone,” said De Leon.

He added, “People aren’t allowed to campaign until after candidates’ night, when they understand the rules.”

According to SGA’s bylaws, no social media and or internet technology campaigning is allowed prior to candidates’ night.

The bylaw states no poster, sign or banner may be smaller than 8 1⁄2 square inches or larger than 900 square inches. No two posters, signs, or banners from one candidate may be within 20 feet of each other. Campaign material may be posted only in designated areas and must follow the SILD posting policy, as listed in the Student Club Publicity guidelines.

Claire Ostrander, director of student involvement and leadership development, said SILD reviews candidates campaign material for “spelling and to make sure dates, time, location and contacts are on the flyers. This is the same procedure we follow for any club or organization office or external group that wants to post.”

She added the candidates “needto follow all the posting policies of the University. McCarthy Center has specific posting policies. Residence Life has theirs. They would have to follow all of those existing structures beyond what SGA has put forth.”

According to De Leon, candidates cannot campaign within 20 feet of the voting site on election day.

“We tell people if they are wearing a button with their name, they have to take that off. No signs. No nothing. It’s just trying to put these rules in place to make a level playing field,” he said.

De Leon added, “We also don’t encourage negative campaigning. No attacks or anything like that.”

Ostrander said in term of social media campaigning, the candidates “would follow the SGA bylaws.”

She added, “Social media is always going to be tricky. I don’t remember any firm and fast rules on social media, with the exception that you can’t start campaigning until after candidates’ night. … That’s a much harder area and space to monitor and control. So, for the most part, if people have concerns and see things they believe don’t follow the protocol, they would bring them forward.”

De Leon said he has seen more campaigning and publicity being done this year than in the past in terms of flyers, social media and word of mouth. He hopes that this will be reflected in voter turnout.

Apler said, “We really want people to vote. It’s really important. Those are the only positions students can get voted into. We want a good turn out so people can have their voices heard.”

De Leon said, “It’s about civic engagement. Believing that your vote and your opinion matters and has an influence in the bigger scheme, the bigger picture.”   

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