Student Senate elections begin

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Jewell Hall. Photo by Catherine Dema.

After serving as interim Student Senate president from May to September, junior business administration major Mario Magana announced in an email sent to the student body Sept. 18 that he would officially step down from the position following the election of a new Senate cabinet and class senators in the final week of September. Following this message, instructions were provided for running for a position in the Senate along with a rough timeline of events for the election of a new Cabinet and senators.

In order for students to be registered as candidates for a Cabinet or for a senator position, they were required to collect 50 signatures from fellow students. Students running for class senator positions had to collect 50 signatures solely from individuals within their class, while Cabinets could collect 50 signatures from any student. Candidates for class senators were also required to submit a two minute introductory YouTube video to Student Life to be transmitted via email to the entire class three days prior to voting. 

Competing Senate cabinets will debate key issues over Zoom Monday, Sept. 28. A link to this event will be sent out to students prior to the event. Two days after the debate, Sept. 30, voting will commence and will officially close at the end of the day Oct. 1. The new Senate Cabinet will be announced via email Oct. 2. 

The two Cabinets running are “Your Voice on the Hill” and “Change, Respond, Impact.” 

“Your Voice on the Hill” consists of Olivia Eggleston, senior nonprofit leadership and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry (ACT-In) major; Tavarus Pennington, junior English and communication major; Grace Garbe, junior communication and nonprofit leadership major; and Ireland Hawkins, senior accounting major. 

“Change, Respond, Impact” consists of Madison Carroll, senior Oxbridge: Institutions and Policy and international relations major; Samuel Slaughter, sophomore history and secondary education major; Asa Mpuan, senior chemistry major; and Elise Villareal, senior English and theater major.  

Class senator voting will begin Oct. 5 and end Oct. 6, with the results being announced Oct. 7. The first official meeting of the new cabinet and senators will be held Oct. 13.

The timeline of the Student Senate election is as follows:

September 25: Student Senator and Cabinet petitions due.

September 28, 8:00 p.m.: Senate Cabinet Debate to be hosted by The Hilltop Monitor via Zoom. Students will receive a Zoom link in their Jewell email inbox prior to the debate.

September 30: Voting begins for Student Senate Cabinet. Jewell students will be emailed ballots and voting instructions.

October 1: Cabinet voting ends.

October 2: Student Senate Cabinet election results are announced via email. 

October 2: Students are emailed introduction videos from Student Senator candidates.

October 5: Voting begins for Student Senator candidates. Jewell students will be emailed ballots and voting instructions.

October 6: Student Senator voting  ends.

October 7: The 2020-21 Student Senators are announced via email.

October 13: Senate will host their first meeting via Zoom.

While Student Senate elections typically take place in April for the forthcoming academic year, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic delayed elections until this fall. In the interim, 2019-20 Senate vice president Magana served as president after 2019-20 Senate president Hannah Keeney’s, ‘20, graduation. 

In his Sept. 18 message to the student body, Magana noted that he would not be running for reelection and urged his peers to get involved with leadership roles in the Senate.

“[T]here are changes going on around us that require attention, transparency, and focus. These unprecedented times ask for us to all be leaders on campus and in our communities. The important thing to remember is: leadership can be achieved anywhere.

“All this to say, I have greatly enjoyed my time on Student Senate and serving as your Interim Student Senate President, but it is time for the next wave of leaders to find their calling… On a final note: Take the time to really consider being not only a leader, but also a voice for your peers. Why not make an impact on the place you’ll one day call your alma mater?” Magana said.

Christina Kirk

Christina Kirk is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: Institutions & Policy and international relations.

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