So you want to be SGA President

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SGA president Joey Wozniak and vice president Victoria Conley // Photo taken by Jessica Montgomery

SGA president Joey Wozniak and vice president Victoria Conley // Photo taken by Jessica Montgomery

You may be wondering about how to make an impact on campus. You might want to be the next Wozniak. You might want to rule the world, and think that Mercer’s campus is a good place to start.

In any case, you’re in luck.

The Student Government Association Presidential Elections Qualifications will be held March 18, and they are open to any full-time, undergraduate students hoping to run for SGA president or vice president.

“If there’s anyone interested, they should be planning right now,” said Senator Min Oh, the chair of the SGA Public Relations and Elections Committee.

According to the SGA Constitution and Bylaws, the president and vice president are part of the executive branch and “ex-oficio” members of the senate. Typically, this means that they don’t vote on legislation or make a motion. However, the president does vote when there is a tie in the senate, and if the president is absent, the vice president has power over that input.

“Usually we have people who were in SGA running [for president or vice president] because they know the inner workings of how SGA works,” Oh said. “But I mean, everybody’s welcome to run, if they’re interested.”

Oh had three pieces of advice for those interested in running:

  1. Have a solid platform. “When people are determined to run . . . especially people who have been on SGA before, they know what we need,” Oh said. “They know how to go about implementing different things.”
  2. Pick your sidekick carefully. “Talk to your Vice President/President candidate, because you have to run on one ticket,” she said. “You can’t just sign up to be the president and just wait for someone to fill that other spot up.”
  3. Talk to the current President, Vice-President, and Dean of Students about the work ahead. Oh said that the majority of the preparation for next year’s senate — such as determining “how much each committee gets, where do you put [money], discretionary funds, and things like that” — will be over the summer and the candidates should have an idea of how the budget works before they dive into the process.

While the positions are open to all students on campus, you do have to meet some standards to run. When a candidate signs up, SGA sends their information to Student Affairs to ensure that their G.P.A., Honor Council, and Judicial Council records are good enough to qualify.

The timeline for the campaign and election cycle at Mercer is pretty straightforward: sign-ups are March 18 and for those who qualify, there will be a Presidential Debate held March 25. The polls will open at 9 a.m. March 30 and close at 5:00 p.m. March 31. The winners will be announced at 5:30 p.m. that same day.

If you are looking to run, make a point to check out the Bear Forum being held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 in CSC Conference Room One. All of the SGA members will be there for a Q&A session and breakdown of what each committee has accomplished this past year. This will be a good place to look closer at how SGA operates, as well as get any additional information about the election process.

And if you don’t necessarily feel up to campaigning for the role of president or vice president? Don’t worry.

There are always the Senator elections in April.

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