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Senate elections set for Sept. 28, 29

September 24, 2009

The Student Association Student Senate of UW-River Falls will be holding new elections on Sept. 28 and 29 for their remaining seats this fall semester. With such a low turnout though, there is not even a need for the elections.

Applications and petitions to be part of the Student Senate were due Friday, September 18. With little to no advertising though, not many people even knew about the elections before the deadline for applications.

Student Senate President Josh Brock was disappointed with this years turn-out for the elections. “We definitely had a lack in advertising on our part but I also think general student interest in the Student Senate has gone down quite a bit.” he said.

Before the deadline, only one position on senate still remained – the representative for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), which must be a student of CAS. The senate is also looking for four first year senators, a student enrolled in their first year at UWRF, and three at-large senators, which can be any other student wishing to join the Student Senate, Brock said.

“It’s difficult to get the word out so early in the semester when a lot of people still don’t even know we have a student senate,” Shared Governance Director Patrick Okan, who is also head of the elections committee, said. “We sent out campus-wide emails and wanted to put something in the Student Voice and WRFW but the campus media starts too late and we need to fill these seats as soon as possible.”

The turnout for these elections only brought in one petition for a first year senator and all three for at large senators. Even though the elections have not past yet these four students are pretty much guaranteed to be on senate, Brock said.

Okan and a committee of students working with him are responsible for organizing the Senate elections and making sure they run smoothly.

According to the Student Senate election rules, “The Elections Committee will be composed of no less than two and no more than six currently enrolled students that are not running for election to Student Association Student Senate, and or Student Association Student Senate President or Student Association Student Senate Vice President. The Executive Committee will select the Elections Committee members.”

The elections committee must follow certain bylaws, otherwise they can be terminated or not recognized as being part of the committee and therefore not paid for their work.
“All members of the Elections Committee will receive a stipend of seventy-five dollars for their time. The Ethics Committee may decide not to pay the members of the Elections Committee if they find that the committee has not done what they are required to do” according to the Student Senate election rules.

The senate elections for president and vice president will be held next semeseter in April.