2018 Student Government Association (SGA) applications were open until February 9. Mckenna Kern, current Director of Spiritual Life, took the time to explain how the SGA Election process unfolds.
Kern describes, “First is the application process, which all candidates go through. Next, there is a forum, where all candidates are asked a prepared question as well as an unprepared question. After the candidate gets a chance to answer those questions, the forum opens up to a Q&A. The next event in the campaign is an event called ‘Candi-dating.’” This event follows a rotating format similar to that of speed dating, in which candidates can “share [their] vision and connect with the students,” Kern explained.
According to Kern, once you get to the primaries, the voting process narrows the pool down to two candidates, unless there are already only two candidates, or someone is running unopposed.
Kern mentioned that, “As you get deeper into the process, it can start to get discouraging and nerve-wrecking. There is a good amount of time you have to invest in the process [of running], but it is worth it in the end. Getting a position on SGA has its benefits.”
The later stages of the election process boil down to chapel speeches, after which immediately starts the voting. Kern said, “In the chapel speeches, you get two minutes to sell yourself to the voters and share your vision.” The official time limit has not been set for this year’s election due to past candidates having wanted more time for their speech.
“Final voting begins immediately following the speeches. The candidates meanwhile anxiously wait for a phone call to see if they got the position after the voting closes. The candidates who won are revealed to the student body.” In Kern’s experience, the winners were revealed by walking out of the school store after their names are announced. In the past, the night has concluded with an Ice Cream Social.
There are seven positions for Executive SGA, and three of those positions are held by seniors who will be leaving following this year. The seniors are Kyera Bryant, McKenna Kern, and Kirsten North.
Junior Aaron Hebert, current Director of Student Events, plans to run again. Hebert said, “I’ve really enjoyed my time on SGA. Though, it can be a challenge to juggle with school, it has its own rewards.”
For those who are curious on how to get started with their campaign, Ghosh and Kern agree that making posters, deserts, or just approaching voters and having conversations are some of the best ways to go about campaigning and getting names out there. Hebert’s advice to people who are considering running in the SGA election is to “be prepared to commit because everything that [SGA] appears [to be] on the outside is not indicative of what we actually have to do on the inside.”
SGA may be a commitment, but it is great to have on a resume. Being a member of SGA provides you with a “learning experience,” according to Kern.