Photo Credit: Angel Adegbesan
By Rachel Dalloo
For the first time in three years, the Student Government Association (SGA) election has more than enough candidates running. There are officially 35 candidates running for 32 seats in the college senate.
Five are running as departmental senators while the remaining 30 are running as senators-at-large.
There were approximately 45 people who picked up applications with petitions to run as senators but 35 brought back the proper applications signed by students, according to Journalism professor Tom Moore, who is the chair of the Elections Committee.
“All of the Candidates were notified this past Monday, (March 11, 2019),” said Vincent Banrey, the vice president of Student Development. “The students were all notified that they were certified.”
In the Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018 semester elections, there were 27, 28 and 30 candidates respectively for 32 positions and special elections were held during the following Fall semesters to fill the empty seats.
The deadline for students to hand in their petitions was on March 5, 2019. The deadline was extended to students due to the snowstorm that took place earlier that week. The campaign period begins on March 16 and runs through April 15.
“The students are given about a week and a half, almost two weeks to get the signatures.” Banrey said. “After that the Senate Elections Committee will collect all of the petitions, then review them. To make sure whoever signed those petitions are students. They randomly check those petitions, with the students Empl ID”
During the special election period last Fall, another election had to be conducted with paper ballots after due to a glitch in the software used to vote electronically in the first one. Banrey said the committees involved are working to ensure there are no issues this time around.
“What we’re going to be doing, is setting up the whole system a day before and test it,” said Banrey. “We usually test it a day before, but we’ll be doing it ahead of time. One thing we’re doing around this time is to make sure that the information provided to the database is all correct, that all the students are coded based on their departmental codes.”
Banrey, who also serves as chair of the Student Elections Review Committee (SERC), says the committees involved and the office of student development will be sending out departmental newsletters to announce the election as well as a college-wide email to the college population to ensure voter turnout.
In past elections, incentives were provided to students who voted such as an “I Voted” water bottle. Banrey said they will try to acquire incentives for this election as well.
In the York College Senate, there is an equal number of 32 student senators to 32 faculty senators. There are 17 senatorial positions slated for the 17 departments while the remaining 15 are left for Senators-at-Large. The number of positions available for Senators-at-Large increases when departments do not have students running as their representatives.
The Student Government elects one of its members to serve as the head of the student caucus. The student caucus is comprised of all the student representatives elected to the College Senate. The College Senate has established the following standing committees that are monitored by and reported to the Senate: Committee on Academic Standards, Committee on Elections, Committee on Admissions, Committee on Instruction, Committee on Campus Environment, Committee on Library and Curriculum Committee.
Students do not have to be members of the Senate to serve on standing committees. Standing committees, including student members have full voting right privileges. The committee structure provides an opportunity for students to participate in the decision-making process.