Students at Northern Kentucky University will have the opportunity to cast their votes in the Student Government Association fall election Dec. 1-2.
Twenty-two candidates are competing for the 15 positions available on the student senate, while two candidates are running unopposed for two open seats on the judicial council.
Elected senators and justices will take office for their one-year term in January 2005, effective at the first SGA meeting of the spring semester.
According to the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the objectives of SGA are:
* To protect and promote the rights of individual students.
* To provide for the formation of an official body to express student opinion.
* To coordinate, maintain and support a well-balanced social and academically orientated program for the student body.
* To communicate ideas and coordinate activities with other colleges and universities.
* To pass upon issues of importance to students and to the university and then make recommendations to the proper faculty or administrative officers.
The Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities makes it clear that SGA itself cannot pass legislation for the university. It states that SGA, like the faculty senate, has no power to enforce enactments – this power is vested entirely in the Board of Regents. However, SGA has representation on the Board of Regents: The student body president serves as a student regent and voting member with full power to introduce and pass upon university matters.
According to its Web site, SGA’s goals consist of the following:
* Effectively lobbying against unfair tuition increases.
* Obtaining increased funding for student governance.
* Improving access for disabled students.
* Becoming more active in programming and allocation.
* Creating an all-students parking appeals board.
* Giving all students a voice.
Students will be able to vote online from anywhere on or off campus at http://elections.nku.edu/sga from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Computer voting stations will also be located in the University Center and Norse Commons lobbies from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Students must provide the last eight digits of their NKU All Card numbers and the last four digits of their social security numbers in order to vote.
SGA fall elections are historically known for producing a low turnout of voters.
Only 348 students, about 2.5 percent of the student body, voted in the SGA fall 2003 election.
However, over 12 percent of the student body participated in the spring 2004 election. In addition to 15 senators and two justices, the five executive board members are elected in the spring election.
The fall election was originally set for Nov. 10-11 but was pushed back because election packets were not made available to students until Oct. 29, just 12 days before the election date set forth in the SGA constitution.
The constitution states that election packets “must be made available to the student body no less than 28 days in advance of the election.” The student senate voted Nov. 1 in favor of postponing the election date to Dec. 1-2.
All candidates were required to submit completed election packets to the Dean of Students Office by Nov. 17 at 9:59 a.m.
These packets included nomination petitions. Candidates had to obtain 50 signatures on their petitions. They also filled out biographies, which can be found at http://studenthome.nku.edu/%7Esga/election2004bios.shtml.
The candidates’ names will appear on the SGA election ballot in the order in which they were received by the Dean of Students Office.
Election results will be posted on our Web site, https://www.thenortherner.com, once they are released to our office.