By JESSICA MASULLI
Student Government Association nominations on Wednesday, March 18, showed that the next generation of leaders are ready to step up in greater numbers than last year.
There were three nominations for SGA president and four for vice president, a major increase from last year when all positions, except two, ran uncontested.
Every year, students wishing to fill positions such as SGA president and vice president, Judicial Review Board president and Honor Council president, are nominated by student senators.
Nominees then have a week to campaign. On March 25 and 26, students will receive an e-mail asking them to vote via an online survey.
According to some nominees, this election shows that students are taking a greater interest in leading this school in a new direction.
“Next year, we want to redefine the direction of the school,” Senator Hassan Abdelhalim, a nominee for SGA vice president, said.
“Students are saying ‘we want our voice heard at every level at the University.’”
According to Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, the number of nominations varies.
“It is different [from] year to year,” Rucker said. “It is very exciting with multiple candidates. It is wonderful to see people committing to leadership.”
Vice President of SGA Ashley Davis, one of this year’s nominees for SGA president, says that the spike in nominees was due to low Senate attendance last year.
“I want people [from Senate] to take the torch,” Davis said.
Last year, there were only 20 senators by the end of the year, but this year there are between 40 and 50, according to Davis. This shows that student leaders are getting involved with important issues even more.
“The SGA President will be steering the direction on important issues,” SGA President Sean O’Brien said.
The increased amount of nominees will force students to campaign more aggressively.
“People will have to go door-to-door,” Co-Chair for the Election Rules and Procedures Committee Christina Giaimo said. “An election win is about name recognition, because people vote for the name they know on an e-mail ballot.”
Students interested in running were expected to go to a SGA workshop that discussed the rules and eligibility, according to Enser Cole, an uncontested nominee for media chair.
“They went over fair practice, such as not tearing down banners and only putting up a certain amount of OSACS approved signs,” Cole said.
O’Brien said that he would have welcomed a competition last year, when he ran uncontested.
“There is a part of me that wanted to be run against,” O’Brien said. “People have seen changes this year, so it feeds the desire.”
According to O’Brien, there are typically two or three people running for SGA President every year.
The nominees began campaigning for their positions as soon as the Senate meeting adjourned. Students rushed to Lee Hall to hang sheets and paper signs off the balcony.
Throughout the week, students can expect to see and hear such evidence of campaigning as students try to get their names out.