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Student Government election process kicks off

Graphic+by+Antelope+Staff
Graphic by Antelope Staff

heinzj@lopers.unk.edu

The Student Government election process is underway, with the application portal’s closure signaling the start of candidates’ campaigns. Students running for student body president, vice president or a spot in the senate began their campaigns on Tuesday.

Ella Ferguson, election commissioner for Student Government and sophomore English and political science major, said the election process mirrors the United States government.

“It’s a great example of as we become adults, you’re going to go into the real world, and you’re going to want to vote for your representatives and see maybe not the same but similar structures,” Ferguson said. “It’s really great to have a student government not only because it mimics the nation we’re going into, but also because it provides a strong student leadership that students have decided on through their votes.”

Students who want to run for student body president, vice president or a spot in the senate first meet with the election commissioner to learn about election rules and regulations. Once applications are collected and candidates are deemed in good standing, the campaign process begins. Presidential and vice presidential candidates are given a $300 budget, and Senate candidates receive a $100 budget.

Ferguson said the extent of a student’s campaign is up to them. Some candidates design posters, create social media campaigns, work with other organizations or table in the Nebraskan Student Union.

Student Government leaders said that applying allows a student to represent their program and other students.

“If you enjoy being involved in not only campus life, but campus decisions, it (Student Government) gives you an inside look into campus events and campus developments that your everyday student might not see as often,” said Temo Molina, student body president. “If you really enjoy being an advocate for students, being a student leader and making your voice heard directly, this is probably the best way to do it.”

A debate for president and vice presidential candidates will be held at the beginning of election week. Ferguson said they plan to send an email to the student body seeking questions to ask potential candidates.

Election day is scheduled for March 6 and 7.

Ethan Cianco, student body vice president, said it’s important for students to vote in elections so they know who is speaking on their behalf.

“We are the voice of the students,” Cianco said. “I think it’s important for them to know who you can go for, who you can trust and then know they have that vocal power through the school through us their elected representatives.”

Serving as student body president for the last year has shown Molina how much the student perspective matters.

“Our administration, our staff and our faculty are all excellent but sometimes you can get a little removed from what students on the ground are experiencing, what students in their everyday schedules are going through and what their perspective might be on a new campus project,” Molina said. “The student voice is so important and people might forget that, but it couldn’t be more true.”

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Jenna Heinz, Reporter
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