More students than ever before are eligible to run for student body president in the upcoming Student Government Association spring elections.
A new SGA constitution that was approved earlier this semester by the Board of Regents deleted a requirement that candidates for executive board positions must have served at least one semester on the student senate or judicial council.
“Students need to be excited,” said SGA President Andy Hixson. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Hixson said that in years past, this old requirement narrowed down the number of potential presidential candidates to about 30 students.
“If students want somebody that’s not involved in SGA to lead them, then they deserve to have that opportunity,” Hixson said. “Now they have that opportunity.”
Sen. Michael Tobergta agrees that not requiring SGA experience as a prerequisite to run for an executive board position is a good change but said he has concerns.
“One of the drawbacks is that you could potentially have someone (run for student body president) who is inexperienced, who essentially just wants to put something on their resume,” Tobergta said.
Tobergta said he also believes this change could make the SGA presidential election more of a popularity contest.
In addition to presiding over senate meetings and operations of the executive board, the SGA president also represents that student body on the Board of Regents.
Each of the five executive board officers, 15 senators and 3 justices will be elected April 13 and 14 to a one-year term that begins on July 1.
Students wishing to run for any of the available positions must submit a completed election packet to the Dean of Students Office by 10 a.m. on April 4. Packets are available outside the SGA office or in the Dean of Students Office.
As of March 22, Vice President of Public Relations Jen Perry was the only candidate who had submitted an election packet to run for SGA president.
Sheena Dunn, vice president of administration, is running on a slate with Perry as a candidate for executive vice president.
According to the election guidelines, candidates for president and executive vice president may run on a slate but can run independently.
SGA meetings are held every Monday at 3:30 p.m. in room 11 of the University Center.