Vacancies in SGA cue the start of Willingness-to-Serve elections: SGA members encourage students to run for open positions

Posted by Andrew Shi

The Student Government Association website lists 51 open positions on various committees for the Willingness-To-Serve elections. When asked if the vacancies impaired operations, SGA President Jonathan Zeidan '12 said that although there's always room for more members, there is no immediate need for worry.

According to Zeidan, SGA membership has significantly increased compared to past years. In addition, he said there is a healthy pool of students seeking available positions through online applications for Willingness-To-Serve elections. Zeidan believes that about eight to ten people have shown interest in positions at SGA meetings, which take place weekly on Tuesday nights from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Ladd 307.

"SGA membership is very comprehensive this year. We have a very involved and intelligent student body who is always looking for ways to get involved," Zeidan said.

All positions that are not filled in the main election at the beginning of the semester become Willingness-To-Serve positions, which students may run for throughout the semester. These positions are approved by the senate at SGA meetings, which elected eight students on Oct. 4.

Raiza Nazareth '12, vice president for communications and outreach on SGA, said interested members of the student body should go to the SGA website and apply for the committee or role upon which they wish to serve. "Last year, we had a website," she said, "but it wasn't always up to date and user friendly. Now we're trying to push it with the new site that students can easily access the forms."

After the application, contenders for positions are invited to SGA meetings to deliver personal statements, reminiscent of smaller-scale election speeches. A panel of student senators then judges the candidates (if there are multiple students seeking an open spot) and votes to elect them onto their respective committees.

"We need to make sure they have the skills to sit on this committee and the experience to be a strong member," Nazareth said.

Zeidan hopes there will be a stream of applicants seeking to serve on the Traditions Committee and the Speakers Bureau, both of which currently have six open positions, as well as the Integrity Board, which has seven available slots.

Zeidan and Nazareth said senators who are required to sit on at least one committee often choose to sit on several, thus filling in some of the empty spots. However, although current senators are able to support the association, additional members would help alleviate the voids in committees the senators themselves cannot address.

Other committees in need of new officials will wage an awareness campaign during the next SGA meeting, and senators will deliberate on the appropriate action needed to reach out to the student body.

"This year, we started a willingness-to-serve fair and really focused on awareness as we know the members of the student body want to be active on campus," Zeidan said. "The biggest hurdle is oftentimes the logistical issues, not the desire."

To promote the remaining posts, Nazareth said SGA will continue to email the student body updated newsletters detailing current SGA motions, as well as advertising Willingness-To-Serve elections. Posters on campus also remind students that commitments to taking an active role in their college life can be catalyzed through serving on an SGA committee.

Additional information booths in the atrium of the Dining Hall, a common promotion tactic used by most student organizations, will not be used until second semester elections, Nazareth said.

For a full list of the additional vacancies, as well as links for election applications, students should contact Nazareth or visit the SGA website.

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