Student Association elections coming soon

By Brian Singer

Students will get the chance to vote for people to represent their concerns at the Student Association (SA) Senate elections Tuesday.

The SA acts as a governing body at NIU and handles anything involving students, said SA Senate Speaker Austin Quick. The organization collects student activity fees and uses them to support different university facilities and student organizations. The SA budget is $6.5 million, according to the SA Senate website.

“Anything that affects students directly or indirectly, we have some type of influence in those decisions,” Quick said.

The SA Senate is one of the three branches of the Student Association. The other branches include the executive and Supreme Court branch. The Senate recognizes student organizations, appropriates funds and reviews actions made by the executive branch, according to the SA Senate website.

Quick said one of the goals for Senators this year was to give them an opportunity to talk directly to their districts about issues.

“There will be town hall meetings that are open where students can come and bring issues to the senator,” Quick said.

Kelsey Shockey, senior corporate communications major, is running for Senate again. He said the election can matter to students who vote because the SA judges how the student activity fee from their tuition is allocated.

“If they sit home and don’t do anything, well it’s like a popularity contest between a few people and nothing is really said by that,” Shockey said.

Each senator on the ballot represents a district on campus. District One represents students living in the Stevenson Towers, University Plaza and Neptune Hall. District Two represents students living in the New Residence Hall Complex, Lincoln Hall, Douglas Hall and Grant Towers.

Students living west of the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb are in District Three. Students living north of DeKalb, east of the Kishwaukee River, south of Lucinda Avenue and West of Annie Glidden Road are in District Four. Students living in DeKalb, outside of DeKalb and east of the Kishwaukee River are in District Five.

The voting turnout for the elections are on average low, Quick said. Around 8 to 10 percent of the student population, on average, votes. Quick said he is not surprised by the turnout, but he wants students to realize those who aren’t voting are losing their voice.

Senior political science major James Zanayed, who ran as senator once before, said this election is important because many senators are running for a second term.

“The learning curve in the Senate can sometimes be tough,” Zanayed said. “The experience and wisdom these candidates carry will make it a successful year.”

Editor’s Note: Campus Editor Felix Sarver contributed to this article.