SA prepares for spring elections with Candidate Meetings

By Sophia Mullowney

DeKALB — The NIU Student Association [SA] held its first candidates’ informational meeting Monday in the Campus Life Building.

No students were present at the meeting besides representatives from SA. Speaker Tristan Martin said the lack of attendees was likely due to the poor weather that evening. Ryan Carmody and Michael Kane, both SA senators, said they attended to provide moral support.

SA Election Commissioner Brandon Lesnicki prepared a slideshow of information pertinent to candidates’ expectations for the election cycle, an outline of the roles associated with elected positions, a list of candidacy deadlines and election rules and regulations.

Students hoping to register as candidates for either the executive or legislative branches of SA must attend at least one meeting and be familiar with the SA Constitution and bylaws.

To be eligible for candidacy, students must acquire at least 300 signatures if running for executive office and 50 for senate. SA advises students to collect more signatures than necessary, as calls verifying the signatures will be made.

The election ballot will be released March 6. A candidates’ debate will be held March 25 and the election itself will be held until 4:30 p.m., March 26.

Students can vote through HuskieLink or in person at polling places across campus.

Lesnicki said SA hopes to gain more exposure to students through cooperation with various residence councils across campus to post fliers advertising the meetings and the election itself. He also said he has gotten in touch with Dean of Students Kelly Wesener-Michael, to mention important dates in her weekly newsletter.

Lesnicki also said part of gaining campus exposure means emphasizing the importance of SA and the work it does. He said students should participate in the electoral process in any way they can, whether as a candidate or voter.

“Everything about the Student Association is focused on enacting real change,” Lesnicki said. “In the three years I’ve been here, I’ve been a part of changes to the [Student Involvement and Leadership Development] social policy, [I’ve]been part of a presidential review, university councils and so many other things. It’s a really great way to make your voice heard.”

Deputy Election Commissioner Audry Kiamana echoed Lesnicki’s statements. He said NIU students should view upcoming SA elections as an opportunity to gain experience in civic participation.

“We need [SA] here, and it’s in place to help us all,” Kiamana said.