Not enough candidates on the ballot

November 18th, 2010

Three students submitted letters of intent for the class of 2012 senate; write-in candidates may fill the empty seats

The class of 2012 will be underrepresented on this year’s Student Union senatorial ballot.

Six senatorial positions exist for the class of 2012. Only three candidates submitted the required form, a letter of intent that was available through OrgSync, by the Nov. 7 deadline.

Jack Kirwin and Meghan Everett are running for re-election, and Brian Means is running for the first time.

Write-in candidates may fill the remaining slots.

Sasha Hamilton-Cotter and Michael Fox confirmed with The Carroll News that they are running as write-in candidates and have created Facebook groups promoting their campaigns.

Hamilton-Cotter said, “I think we had a strong class Senate – we have had for the past three years. I didn’t realize at the time [when letters of intent were being accepted] how few candidates there were running because so many people had joined the [Executive] Board.”

Michael Fox has served on Senate since his freshman year.

Fox said he planned on ending his involvement with Senate and was ready to find something new, but he changed his mind after realizing the lack of interest from other members of his class and receiving a few requests to run.

Any write-in candidate will need a minimum of 10 votes to be considered a legitimate candidate.

Student Union President-elect Rita Rochford said that students who don’t get involved with Student Union their freshman year don’t necessarily consider joining later in college.

“The Elections Committee really did come up with creative ways to advertise for the election,” said Rochford. “I don’t think it’s the fault of the Election Committee that people didn’t submit anything. I think it was just timing. Junior year is stressful, and a lot of people did move up to the [Executive] Board or moved onto other things.”

Current 2012 Senators Andrew Burns and Peter Hayden were elected to the Student Union Executive Board as vice president of student organizations and vice president of business affairs, respectively. Senator Sean Cahill chose not to run for re-election.

Student Union President Amanda Papa is on the Elections Committee.

Papa said, “We had two ads in The Carroll News, a quarter page and a full page ad. The current sophomore senators had information sessions in each of the freshman dorms to encourage freshmen to run.”

SU also sent out information about elections via the All-STU and had a table in the Atrium during Executive Board Elections at which students were encouraged to run for senate positions, according to Papa.

Michael Fox, who noted that he was a beta-tester for OrgSync and who was involved in the process of purchasing the program for JCU, said that the fact that the letter of intent form was available through OrgSync may have played a role in the lack of submissions.

“There are just a lot of people who don’t use it [OrgSync] and who aren’t even logged in with Senate, so they don’t even get the messages. And, all the forms and applications were through OrgSync,” he said. “It’s not taken off as we’d hoped.”

The Student Union Constitution states that any vacant Senate seats will be filled by a member of the particular class-at-large and appointed by the president of the class, with the support of a majority of that class’ elected senators. The entire Senate must approve the candidate prior to appointment.

Student Union Senate election polls close today at 7 p.m.