Associated Students elections approach

The Associated Students at Sonoma State University is preparing for the next student government election as the applications for candidates are reviewed. The Elections Commissioner Angie Ulloa has held meetings with the potential pool of candidates who plan on running for offices. The candidates will be announced on Feb. 7 after all applications are received. The voting period will begin on March 11.

Student government is intended to give students a chance to be involved in their school and community, and is beneficial as work experience for governmental or business jobs in the future. The Associated Students strives to make the campus as interactive as possible by hosting open events and conducting campus activities.

An elected officer serves as the official voice of the student body. They must have leadership skills, maintain a solid grade point average, and act as a representative of the students while serving the school. 

The offices open for candidates are president, executive vice president, chief officer of finance, and a committee of 12 senate seats that belong to five academic schools and seven special interest groups. The student voting is conducted under a simple majority rule. The Senate however, appoints its own chairman. 

The Associated Students act as the student council in making decisions on behalf of the student body. They hold weekly meetings and discuss issues on finances, academics and community issues. 

Ulloa is the elections commissioner and handles the eligibility of the candidates by reviewing their application material. She also checks that their paperwork is submitted on time and if it matches up to the major they are enrolled in. The commissioner has no say in the election, for it is all determined by students’ votes. The elections are done electronically, in contract with an outside company. Students can cast their votes online once the voting period commences in March.

As of recently, Associated Students has been holding information sessions to inform potential candidates on position descriptions and the frequently asked questions regarding student government elections. 

“We like to have candidates who have some idea what it [Associated Students] is,” said Executive Director Eric Dickson. “The Associated Students is a pretty serious leadership experience which asks a lot of our student leaders.”  Dickson said that the Associated Students is more than just a student government, but also a $2 million corporation. 

Those who have demonstrated interest, dedication and the proper GPA could be potentially running for office. Now it is a matter of getting applications and paperwork in on time. Associated Students offers a hands-on chance to learn some of these leadership skills and aims to give students the training they might need to take on future tasks. Students interested in running for office for the 2014-2015 academic year must submit an application on OrgSync by Feb. 7 and attend an orientation session.