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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

SGA looks to promote elections

SGA fills chair of the Board of Elections
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Brandon Clark
Stanley Anukwuocha speaks to the SGA senate left of Speaker Cole Hensley. SGA elected it’s 2024 Spring Board of Elections. (Brandon Clark | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The Student Government Association elected its 2024 Spring Board of Elections on Friday.

After SGA President Olivia Newman failed to appoint an election commissioner by the deadline, the SGA had no choice but to nominate candidates without a commissioner. 

Deputy Speaker Chris English nominated himself, Speaker of the Senate Cole Hensley, and Amaka Onebunne, Stanley Anukwuocha, Niko Bereolos, Eddie Guerrero and Maria Sofia as candidates for the Board of Elections.

“Last year, I was one of the main driving people behind a lot of the election reform that happened, and I’m familiar with the ways that the rules have changed,” English said. “Even if I’m not elected, I will be happy to be a resource you can use. I’m intimately familiar with not only SGA, but also with these specific pieces of legislation.”

After a vote – English, Hensley, Onebunne, Anukwuocha and Bereolos were appointed to the Board of Elections. Guerrero and Sofia will serve as alternates in the absence of primary board members.

After their appointment, Anukwuocha, Onebunne and Bereolos were nominated for the position of chair of the Board of Elections. The chair oversees SGA election processes and works with other SGA members on election policies.

Anukwuocha advocated for increased publicity for SGA elections in his bid for the position. 

“I am looking forward to an election where everyone is represented,” Anukwuocha said. “There are so many people who do not come to the elections because they didn’t know about it.”

Bereolos agreed the elections need increased publicity and was disappointed in SGA’s scarce staffing this year.

“When elected, I went through the special election instead of the main election because I didn’t even know about it. I wasn’t aware it had happened until after voting,” Bereolos said. “The fact that we are barely above half of the number of senators we are allowed to have, I find extremely disappointing. I believe we can do better by reaching out to more people and students through campaigning with posters, outreach through emails and actually talking with people in dining halls and the student center.”  

Onebunne was appointed chair of the Board of Elections with a vote of 12-0. Onebunne promised to bring transparency, collaboration and representation in her bid for the position.

“One of the things that people struggle with in elections is that the process is not transparent. I believe that as the chair, I would bring transparency by starting with myself,” Onebunne said. “I will make sure every process is communicated in a timely fashion, and I will provide tables or platforms where we can collaborate together and discuss these things openly.”

Onebunne wants to ensure every voice on campus is heard and agrees SGA election publicity needs to increase. 

“I will create a safe space where women, men, nonbinary and everyone matters, regardless of political affiliations,” Onebunne said. “In the last election, one thing I noticed was a lack of publicity. This is where my collaboration also comes in. I plan to work with every committee and everybody.” 

The SGA also approved a new student organization and NIU chapter of the National Honor Society for Earth Sciences, Sigma Gamma Epsilon. 

SGA meetings are open to the public and held at 2 p.m. on Fridays, with locations posted in the senate’s agendas. SGA minutes and intent to speak forms are available on Huskie Hub.

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