Online Senate elections will begin Monday

The student senate is having its fall elections Monday and Tuesday.

For the fist time, the elections will be completely online with the student government website providing a link.

“Currently, we have 18 seats open, but we only have 13 senators,” said Christine Anderson, the director of the elections commission.

Anderson, a communication disorders sciences major, is also the senate secretary.

Each prospective candidate had to get 60 signatures to even get on the ballot, Anderson said.

After the 60 signatures were received, E-numbers were checked for authenticity before the candidate could be added to the ballot. The candidates also have to be in good standing with the university. Student government filled approximately 19 seats by appointing senators at the beginning of the semester, but the appointment of the senators only last for one semester until they can run for positions during the end of fall senate elections.

“I’m disappointed that there are people not coming back, but that opens the door for new people,” said Alex Boyd, a student senate member.

Boyd, a sophomore political science major, is running for his third semester on student senate.

“Some people try it for a semester and don’t want to do it again,” Student Body President Michelle Murphy said. “Or they just get busy.”

Boyd is also running for Speaker of the Student Senate. A position that current Speaker Jason Sandidge is not running for again.

Jarrod Scherle, a senior finance major, and Tommy Nierman, a junior business major, are also running for Speaker.

Nierman, like Boyd, is re-running for a senate seat because their one-year senate term has eclipse while Scherle’s has not.

The Speaker will be chosen on Dec. 8 at the last fall senate meeting.

Online elections saved student government about $198 according to the 2009-2010 senate budget.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Boyd said. “My only fear is that we will lose the personal connection with the students.”

Fall elections are usually smaller because there aren’t those big named vice president positions, Anderson said.

“I don’t even know a ball park [number], but I think we should get more votes. It’s easier,” Anderson said.

Students will only be able to vote once with their E-number and the results will be announced at next Wednesday’s meeting.

The student government’s last meeting will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola-Tuscola room of the Martin Luther King Jr. Union.

Nike Ogunbodede can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

Student senators must:

Maintain a cumulative 2.3 GPA and be a full-time student,

have to attend weekly Wednesday senate meetings,

go to committee meetings,

have two mandatory office hours,

attend an once a month Registered Student Organization (RSO) as a Senate Liaison,

and must complete the Student Government Diversity Requirement.

Senators running:

Party for United Leaders Supporting Excellence (PULSE): Holly Henry, Kyle Scherle, Kaci Abolt, John Griffin, James Patton, Alex Boyd, Zach Samples, and Mary Lane are running under the

EIU Students First party: Neil Majd

Unaffiliated: Tommy Nierman, Kaylia Eskew, Rebecca Johnson, and Caitlin Nagle.