Undergraduate Student Senate came together yesterday for its first meeting of the semester. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER
Credit: DKS Editors
Petitions for candidacy in the newly reformed Undergraduate Student Government will be available today, kicking off this year’s election one week earlier than expected.
The election will get an early start after the passing of an emergency election bill yesterday at the semester’s first Undergraduate Student Senate meeting. The move was made in large part to help the governing body make a more smooth transition from the old USS to the new USG.
“It’s more time,” said USS executive director Katie Hale. “It’s more time to think about it. It’s more time to campaign and more time to find out what we’re all about. We just really wanted to hit the ground running this year.”
Petitions will be available at 9 a.m. today at the Center for Student Involvement offices in the Student Center. The deadline for submission is Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. Campaigning will begin at midnight on Feb. 12, and elections will take place on March 10 and 11.
Undergraduate Student Government offers 25 positions, while its USS predecessor offered just nine. Filling those extra positions may be a challenge during this election, said Hale.
“That’s definitely a concern,” Hale said. “To be honest, there’s a concern for that every year.”
If the candidate turnout is too low to fill all the positions, USG will go through a formal process of extending the deadline. In the meantime, it plans to reach out to students interested in running for positions over the next three weeks.
“We want to do everything in our power to convey the message to students: This is why you should run,” Hale said. “We’re doing programming now. So if politics isn’t your thing, do you want to bring a headlining band or comedian to campus? There’s an opportunity for that now.”
Hale hopes students will take advantage of the early election process and discover an interest in joining the ranks of their reformed student government.
“The different positions appeal to so many people,” Hale said. “It’s not such a time commitment. You can be involved and advocate for the things that are important to you on campus.”
Contact student politics reporter Jenna Staul at [email protected]