The Student Government Association kicked off its spring electoral campaign this week to encourage the student body to vote for all senator and executive board positions.
On April 15, ballots will be available in students’ email inboxes for 24 hours starting at noon Friday. Julia Dunn, SGA vice president of communications, said the organization will set up voting booths from noon to 3 p.m. in the North Foyer of Campus Center that day as a reminder of the elections.
The two parties running for the executive board position are The Constructionists, led by junior Scott Nachlis, current SGA senate chair, and Untold Narrative, led by junior Elma Borcilo, current SGA senator for the class of 2012.
The Constructionists’ platform includes three initiatives — spirit, accountability and collaboration — Nachlis said. Their goals are to build on school spirit, create a sense of community, collaborate between different schools within the college and become an accountable executive board that provides tangible results to initiatives they undertake, he said.
“Not necessarily to sound cliché, but be the change you want to see in the world,” Nachlis said. “Student government is a great way to facilitate those changes.”
Nachlis’ potential executive board consists of sophomores Rob Flaherty, vice president of communications; Rachel Heiss, vice president of campus affairs; freshman Robert Hohn, vice president of budget and finance; and junior Eve Trojanov, vice president of academics.
Nachlis said some of their ideas include aiming to increase the student voice at the administrative level and looking into initiating a program that will sell school spirit apparel and donate the funds to fellow students who face unexpected financial hardships.
Borcilo said Untold Narrative focuses on bringing unity, strength, power and voice to the students.
Borcilo said some of their proposals include working with the registrar to make a more efficient and easy registration process for students, establishing higher level language classes and creating more than one section of a class so students are not locked out of choices.
“We really want to stress the fact that we are here for the students. We represent an e-board that is different in backgrounds and the skills we bring to the table.”
Borcilo’s executive board consists of sophomore Nathaniel Hemingway, vice president of campus affairs; freshman Courtney Brown, vice president of communications; freshman Tariq Meyers, senate chair; and juniors Didi Shum, vice president of budget and finance; and Jonathan Wright, vice president of academics.
Students will also vote for rising sophomore, junior and senior senator positions.
Senior Kevin Fish, SGA president, said SGA will host a table at the IC After Dark event election night to get underclassmen involved. He said the goal is to inform students about elections and encourage them to vote. SGA aims to double the 18 percent voter turnout it had last semester to 36 percent, he said.
This semester will mark the first time SGA uses SurveyMonkey to distribute ballots. Last year, the organization used Votenet, which cost $10,000 each year. SurveyMonkey costs only $200 per semester. The problem with the previous system, Dunn said, was students with more credits than required for their class received a ballot for a different class. They have not faced this issue with SurveyMonkey.
On Tuesday, SGA will host Election Connection, an event where candidates will debate and present their platforms, at 8 p.m. in IC Square. A video was released Saturday that shows Fish and the current senate performing “Shots” by LMFAO featuring Lil Jon,’ changing the title to “Vote.” Dunn said SGA members hope it will encourage student participation.
As the semester ends, Fish said one of the best things SGA accomplished this year was offering bus transportation to the Cortaca football game.
“We are definitely trying to cut down on the amount of drunk driving while fostering school spirit, and it was a senator initiative that bore that whole proposal,” he said. “It went over very well, and it is something that can be replicated in the future.”
Fish said he trusts the next executive board will continue to strive for unity and school spirit at the college.
“Play nice, have fun and really question why you are doing it,” he said. “A lot of people could easily rush into it, but you should really sit down and say, ‘What do I want from this, and what do I want the organization to be?’”