On Monday evening the Student Government Association held an elections qualification meeting for all students aspiring to run for a seat in the senate. Elections will be held next Tuesday, Sept. 9.
A total of 68 students expressed interest in senate positions at SGA’s Bear Fair table. Five freshman seats and one sophomore seat are going to be filled by the coming election.
SGA president Mollie Davis, vice president Josh Lovett, and Public Relations chairperson Brandon Ryan met with 29 students who showed up at the preliminary qualification meeting for candidates.
“I could not be happier about the large number of students who have decided to run for election,” said Mollie Davis, “Our efforts to promote SGA at orientations, Bear Fair, and through social media have paid off.”
Candidates were given an informational packet that included an eight page document covering the election code of SGA. All candidates were required to sign a positive campaign pledge, dissuading candidates from vandalizing others’ ads.
To further drive home the message, all candidates paid a $10 safety deposit. At the conclusion of the election period, the candidates will each receive their $10 safety deposit.
“We are the decision making body of campus,” said Ryan.
Senior Brandon Ryan addressed the candidates about campaign rules such as a $250 spending limit on campaigns and restrictions on the number and locations of political signs. Each candidate is allotted to post four signs and a banner or eight total signs around campus.
However, candidates are allowed to distribute an unlimited amount of handbills or palm sized ads.
As soon as the meeting concluded, senator candidates were allowed to start campaigning.
Any candidates found to be violating the election code of SGA are subject to the ruling of an Election Appeals Board. SGA’s Election Appeals Board has never been implemented and will likely be repealed after the coming election.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the freshman and sophomores running and cannot wait to work with a new crop of senators,” said Mollie Davis.
Students may only vote for their own class representative. Each student has five unique votes that much be used for five different candidates.
“I truly believe this is an exciting time for Mercer and I’m looking forward to seeing what the new senators will bring to the table. The number of freshmen who signed up is spectacular and bodes well for the future of the university and student government,” said Josh Lovett.