The Student Government Association (SGA) is holding elections for new leadership in their executive and branches and senators starting Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is important for students to get involved, do their research and cast their vote for a say in student government. The SGA is there to carry the voices of students, so if you want to see a change in your community, cast your vote for the candidate that aligns with your needs.
“You should know who your president and vice president are, who you need to go to in order to understand the biggest conversations on campus, and support someone who aligns with the beliefs you have on campus,” said current SGA President Devlin Collins.
Collins believes student government is deeply important to prepare students for life after college.
“This is also a kind of practice for when you get out in the real world and vote in real elections,” Collins said. “You want representatives that are a reflection of you and your community.”
While the student government might not be able to change all of the major issues on campus, such as dining, parking or wages, they do have major impacts.
“We have been able to support bills that go all the way up to the federal and state level,” said current vice president James Holmes. “Every semester, the Senate will take a trip to Springfield and campaign on behalf of bills that affect college students.”
SGA has also brought about change on the local level. Some examples include free parking after 5 pm and on weekends, gender-neutral bathrooms and conveniences in the residence halls.
NIU’s undergraduate student body is majority women with 52.9% female and 47.1% male, according to NIU’s at a glance fall 2021 data. The current Senate is dominantly male, making it all the more important for women to do their part in getting involved and/or voting.
“It is extremely important for women to be voting for other women in these positions for student government. There is a major need for women to get involved, and to vote women they support into these positions,” said Maeve Wallace, senator for the college of visual and performing arts. “It is a little concerning not to have the majority of our population being heard.”
It is extremely important for women to be voting for other women in these positions for student government. There is a major need for women to get involved, and to vote women they support into these positions”
— Maeve Wallace, senator for the college of visual and performing arts
Every student has an opinion and it should be heard, but unfortunately too many are afraid to take that step and stand up or are under the assumption that their voice doesn’t matter. Senate historian James McCue remembers this feeling all too well but quickly found his opinions were welcome.
“Bringing in any new perspective fosters more discussion, it (SGA) is a place specifically for that, and to make sure the angles students want considered are in those discussions,” McCue said. “Voting is your voice in the decision-making process.”
“If you want to see a change, you have to step up and do your part. If you want more diversity, but choose not to be the one to get involved, then nothing will change. “If you don’t vote, you’re choosing not to have a voice. You’re choosing to silence yourself,” McCue said.
Students should think about getting involved with SGA, whether it be with doing their research and voting or joining the organization. Your voice as a student is an important one that deserves to be heard.
Elections will be held from March 29th to 30th from 9 am to 6 pm at Barsema Hall, Holmes Student Center, New Hall Community Center, Founders Memorial Library, DuSable Hall and online at HuskieLink.