SGA special elections to proceed without balloted candidates

The Student Government Association announced on Tuesday that it will hold its upcoming special elections without any officially balloted candidates.

SGA Executive President Raz Moayed told members at Tuesday’s joint session meeting that no students completed the required election packet in order to appear on next week’s ballot. The elections, which were intended to fill a large number of vacancies in SGA, will now feature multiple write-in campaigns as opposed to the balloted running process.

Write-in campaigns are typically led by students who make a last-minute decision to run for an office and feature a word-of-mouth, grassroots style of campaigning. While those who run write-in campaigns will not have their name appear on the ballot, voters will have the option to write in the candidate’s name.

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SGA Executive Vice President Will Palauskas told The Beacon that two students are planning to run write-in campaigns for the 2020 class vice president. Performing Arts Senator Connor McNinch and Senior Mai Kashihara will both attempt to use the process to capture the position, Palauskas said.

While the lack of candidates for the special elections appears to be damaging, Palauskas claimed that it does not reflect poorly on student interest level and SGA’s outreach.

“It’s the middle of the semester,” Palauskas said in an interview. “So A, a lot of people are busy right now, or B, their lives are already kind of planned out for this semester. To take on one more thing right around midterm time can be hard for people.”

SGA Advisor Sharon Duffy echoed Palauskas’ sentiment in an emailed statement to The Beacon.

“SGA has historically seen a lower interest level in fall special elections, but regardless, the SGA leadership strongly believes that there is a strong need and desire to have those missing voices represented,” Duffy stated.

There are multiple high-level vacancies remaining in the organization, including three unfilled executive board positions, several open senate seats, and an unoccupied presidential post for the class of 2020.

“At the end of the day, the biggest problem is that nobody is representing those constituencies,” Palauskas said. “It’s important that those voices are being heard. And so, to make them heard, we need to have somebody who has a seat at the table to represent them.”

A candidate press night scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 16, was canceled as there were no balloted candidates to speak. 

The special elections are still scheduled to proceed on their original dates of Wednesday, Oct. 23 through Friday, Oct. 25. 

News Editor Stephanie Purifoy did not edit this article due to a conflict of interest.

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