SGA voting positions lack opposing candidates

by Stephanie Bradbury / Beacon Staff • March 29, 2012

Tau chapman
SGA President Tau Zaman is currently unconteste
SGA President Tau Zaman is currently unconteste

As the Student Government Association election nears, only two voting positions currently have contenders.

The positions of class of 2015 president and visual, media, arts senator each have two SGA hopefuls, while the remaining voting positions only have one candidate each. 

The performing arts senator seat remains the lone position without a contender. 

If all unopposed students running for a voting position are elected, next fall’s SGA will be very similar to that of this semester, with the possibility of just three new voting members. 

Kassie King, who was appointed elections commissioner two weeks ago, said the turnout of candidates should not deter students from voting.

“The people who are running are very qualified and excited no matter how much competition they may have, they are very qualified no matter how the turnout may be,” said the freshman political communication major.  

Current executive board members — Tau Zaman, president, Caitlin Higgins, vice president, and Tanya Flink, treasurer — are all running unopposed. 

During his speech for his current role, Zaman said he wanted to create an initiative to improve dining services at the college. Under his leadership, the SGA published a letter to business services and administered a survey to the student body to gauge complaints concerning meal offerings. 

But the president also called for academic reform and the creation of more culturally focused events — two things the SGA has not completed this semester as planned. 

“I only had one semester to push these, next year I will follow up and make sure [college officials] are listening,” said Zaman.  

In addition to the letter it sent to business services in hope of reforming the dining at Emerson, this semester’s SGA also urged the board of trustees to research a tuition freeze and granted four large appeals to organizations on campus. 

Although the agenda at each week’s SGA meeting has been full, attention to elections has seen very little in the form of advertising.

“I think it could be due in part to the transition [in election commissioner], and also lack of student interest,” said Karlan Baumann, the junior marketing senator.  

Ben Halls, class of 2015 president, who is able to run for class of 2014 senator next semester because he will have enough credits to be considered part of this class, said there is no concern about the leadership remaining the same. 

“I think we’ve performed well this semester, we work very well together and are in tune with the needs of our constituents. As long as we’re doing our jobs, I don’t see the problem,” he said.  

Caitlin Higgins echoed Halls’ content with the unopposed positions and the possibility of the executive board members remaining in their positions.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “SGA has had a big problem with retention. It took me a long time to find my voice so the fact that the majority of SGA is returning and have already made connections means we can continue rolling.” 

According to King, election packets have been available since the beginning of the semester. 

“I took over after election packets were made available, Adriana Guida and Sharon Duffy were in charge,” King said. 

SGA speech night will be held April 2 in Walker 210 at 7:30 p.m. Voting will begin April 3 at midnight and will end at 11:59 p.m. the next day. Students can vote online through eCommon or visit the tables outside the dining hall for more information. The results will be announced April 6 on WECB.

Laura Martin, a freshman, will be the write-in candidate for visual, media, arts senator against Alexander Clarke, who currently fills the role.

“I don’t know Alex personally, and being a write-in candidate certainly presents a challenge, but if it doesn’t work out I know Alex is highly qualified,” Martin said. 

Class of 2015 president also has two candidates. Nick de la Canal, a journalism major, is running against Lauren Mandel. 

De la Canal, whose campaign posters were mysteriously taken down over the weekend after being accused of copyright, said he has three main initiatives he wants to take on next year. 

“[Better] EC wireless, more seating in the library, and to create fun activities for my class that people can rally behind,” he said. 

Zaman feels confident in the candidates. 

“All the people running are excellent,” said Zaman.“Knowing these people have already had a year of experience means that I can rely on them. I want my final year of SGA to go out with a bang.”