SA senator ballots released

By Sara Blankenheim

It’s almost time again to elect the students you want to represent your opinions on important campus issues.

On Sept. 24, the Student Association will hold senate elections.

Although voting is open to anyone with a valid NIU student ID, there were only 658 voters last year, down from 829 voters in 1996. Those were the only numbers the SA had available.

“There’s been a decrease in the trend of voting in the past few years,” said Brooke Robinson, SA director of Public Affairs.

The voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at DuSable Hall, the Holmes Student Center and Founders Memorial Library.

“I don’t really plan on voting,” said Aaron Wagner, a junior business management major. “I’ve read about the elections in the paper, but I don’t really know what [SA senators] do.”

Campaigning already has begun and Robinson encouraged students to meet the candidates.

“Students should expect the candidates to reach out to them,” she said. “If they want to be informed, they should seek out information. Students should feel free to ask any questions to any of the candidates.”

There are 49 candidates running for 40 senate positions within five different districts, including Senate speaker Frank Woodin.

Eight senators will be appointed from each district.

“Just because there are 40 seats doesn’t guarantee they will all be filled because of districts,” Robinson said. “That’s where appointment comes in.”

Appointment is the process in which other unelected candidates can apply to become a senator for another district.

If a candidate is elected to a district he or she doesn’t live in, the person will be given the title of senator-at-large.

After election, the appointed senators will be assigned to specific committees.

The five core committees are Internal Affairs, Public Affairs, Finance Committee, Student Association Service Committee and University Policy.

The SA senate is the legislative body of students on campus. A senator’s job is to represent students, propose bills and resolutions and send them on to higher bodies.

In the event of a run-off election, the next election would be on Oct. 1.

Students also are encouraged to attend SA senate meetings.

The location and times of the meetings will be announced at a later date, once the senate has been elected.

Students also are allowed to speak in front of the senate, but must contact a senate clerk first.

If you wish to contact a senator, all names are in the NIU directory.