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Campaigns kick off for this year’s student body president, vice president

(Image illustration by Hana Greer | Collegian Media Group)

Campaigning kicks off for the governing Student League elections, with voting taking place February 22-23. The electoral process has changed this year, making elections more accessible to students.

Maggie Bellman, a junior in education and chief of staff for the SGA, said the SGA implemented a new system of instant-re-vote this year rather than a primary and then a general election.

“There are three campaigns that I know they’ve announced will take place this year so far, so they will all be voted on by senators, college boards, collegiate positions and the union council,” Bellman said. “This is all going to be a great poll, and I think it will help the students learn a little bit more about how our elections work.”

During voting time, a reminder will pop up on the students’ Canvas pages, allowing them to vote from their dashboard.

“I think this is a useful tool because the most important thing is the number of students [voting]Bellman said. “How are we supposed to represent the students if we represent only a small percentage of the students by the person elected?”

Voting in SGA elections in K-State is historically low, with just over 2,000 students voting last year from a campus of more than 16,000 students. Even with more access, there are still students who have little or no knowledge of the upcoming SGA elections.

(Infographic by Landon Reinhardt | Collegian Media Group)
(Infographic by Landon Reinhardt | Collegian Media Group)

Jasmine Halliburton, a first-year graduate student in journalism and mass communication, said she had no idea that the former Soviet Union elections were underway.

“It’s been tough because we’ve all not been on campus in about two years, so if there’s anything on campus, I usually don’t see it,” Halliburton said.

Life sciences expert Ella Bahr said she has been involved in SGA campaigns throughout her college experience because the people around her — both in the organizations she belongs to and in her sorority — have invested in her.

“One of the things I’ve noticed in the past is that a lot of students in Greek life invest heavily, but students abroad don’t always know or hear about it,” Bahr said. “Finding some way to reach out to a lot of different organizations on campus, whether that’s making sure they go and promoting their campaign at meetings of different organizations every week, or sending emails to students who aren’t just into Greek life. It’s very important to make sure everyone gets involved. And everyone’s voice is heard.”

Tatiana Lesmi, a marketing novice, agreed with Bahr and said that it was difficult even knowing the SGA election as an international student.

“One of the ways I think campaigns can reach international students and other students who are not in Greek life is by hosting inclusive events,” Lysmi said.

Lysmi said she would like easy access to how the university operates and more instructions on where to go for certain services, activities and events. She is also interested in running for the SGA but does not know much about it.

“I would like to be able to run sometime [for a position in SGA], and although I am not into Greek life, I know many people,” Lesmi said. “I have goals and values ​​that I would like to implement and share. Unfortunately I don’t even know how to get there. I don’t know much about the university. This information is somewhat hidden from us and difficult for us to detect.”

Bellman said her advice to students is to check out different social media campaigns, learn about their platforms and vote for the one whose platform they stick with. Bellman said the SGA chief has a lot of power and influence.

“we [elected SGA officials] Hold monthly meetings with the university’s president, Bellman said. “We will meet with our new president, Linton, on February 28. The student body president, Michael Dodd, represents us on the Kansas Board of Trustees and was a member of the selection committee to find our new university president. He has a lot of power and influence statewide in terms of working with the governors and understanding How curricula and budgets work.

Bellman added that the SGA President has many other responsibilities, including chairing the Multicultural Leadership Council — made up of students from multicultural student organizations — to hear the voices of different campuses and work on projects with them.

Just as students who are not involved or who don’t know much about SGA want to know more about it, students in SGA want to connect more with other students.

“I want students to know that SGA is a group of people who really care about students,” Bellman said. We welcome any student at any time to come to one of our meetings. If you need a friend to sit on the Senate meeting, come find me. Any student enrolled in a credit hour is technically part of the governing student union, and as such, you have rights to our rooms. Whatever issue you are passionate about and want to bring up, come into our offices, come to our meetings, send us an email: We really want to serve the students and include many voices and all kinds of viewpoints in our meetings.”

The SGA holds student senate meetings at 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Wildcat Chambers located in the K-State Student Union.

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