Richard Grant Ellsworth
UVUSA has levied several changes to next year’s student body officer elections, primarily extending the duration of the election process. Election packets for the 2014-2015 year will now be available November first rather than mid-January, allowing candidates more time to organize teams for their campaigns.
Campaign bylaws were modified to allow candidates $400 of personal or donated money for use in their campaigns. The previous budget of $200 posed a problem last year when a team of candidates was criticized for spending over $450 at a single campaign event.
The upcoming election will feature a month of social media outreach to allow students to ask questions via Twitter, Facebook or Google+. ‘Super Saturday’, the Saturday before the final election, will also be extended. Candidates will now be given a week before the election to campaign face-to-face with students and answer questions.
“Social media is now much more crucial in campaigns. If candidates don’t answer questions from students on social media websites, they are guaranteed to lose votes,” Student Body President Jono Andrews said.
The positions available for next year are: Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Vice President of Academics, and Vice President of Student Life.
Each position offers a broad spectrum of training for students interested in gaining leadership skills and work experience. For instance, the Vice President of Student Life position offers experience executing and promoting a year’s worth of events; this could interest a marketing or business major with an emphasis in events.
The Student Body President serves as the CEO of student government, manages student fees, and serves on the President’s council. The Executive Vice President oversees the day-to-day operations of the student council and coordinates council activities.
The Vice President of Academics works closely with the Faculty Senate, Dean’s Council, and Academic Deans to consistently improve the university. The VP of Academics is also an active advocate for students with academic issues.
“If you’re choosing to run this year, my advice would be to start sooner than later. Candidates need to be organized and involved with student life because they need to represent students accurately,” said Andrews.
UVUSA election packets will become available starting November first and can be picked up at SC 105. Completed applications will be due February third and elections will take place during the first week of March.