The Student Government Association (SGA) election will see many seats go uncontested, with only the presidency and two Senate seats being contested in a delayed election on March 30.
As election season continues on a new schedule despite the widespread disruption from COVID-19, some seats will still be left open.
The presidency is contested between two senators, Julia Nicolls and Stefan Ferreira, but only Nicolls has a full ticket, with uncontested candidates for vice president, secretary, and treasurer supporting her bid.
Junior diplomacy and international relations major and Senate Speaker Alyssa Futa points out that there are more seats contested this year than last year, when the presidency was the only position with more than one person running.
“I was actually pleasantly surprised to have more seats contested this year,” Futa said. “Last year, senate seats were not contested. This year, we have had many people show interest in serving our student body in order to bring about positive change on our campus.”
However, there are currently three senate seats without candidates to fill them. Seats for the College of Nursing, the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Communication and the Arts and the School of Theology are currently open.
The seats remain empty after several senators resigned from their positions at the end of last semester.
Futa explains that the push to find interested candidates over the past months has been conducted largely over social media.
“Thus far, we have done a big social media push to get people to run,” Futa said. “Students may have noticed more posts and videos about SGA elections and candidate interest sessions. In addition, current SGA members have been spreading the word themselves.”
It is unclear how the SGA plans to fill the empty seats in the future.
The election will now occur on an adjusted schedule due to the disruption on campus caused by COVID-19. This comes after the university announced on March 12 that classes would be held online until at least April 16, after the SGA election season.
In order to give students, many of whom have moved off campus, the chance to catch up on SGA election information, the Elections Committee has decided to move the election back by one week.
Students will have a ballot emailed to them on Monday, March 30 that will close at 3 p.m. on March 31. The Presidential Debate will be conducted online by March 25 and the “Meet the Candidates” event information will be online by March 23.
Vice President and Elections Chair Frank Mabalatan did not respond to a request for comment.
Daniel O’Connor can be reached at email@example.com.