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Student Government Association 2022

As the year for the current Student Government officeholders comes to an end, it is time for new beginnings and fresh faces. The Student Government Winter 2022 Elections were a time of excitement and positive change on our campus. The first sector of the Student Government Association that was open for students to run for office was the Student Events Board. The SEB is the largest programming organization on campus, planning events such as Family Weekend, SienaFest, and all of the Thursday evening events. The second sector open for candidacy was the Student Senate, which is the largest governing body for Siena students. The Student Senate implements change on campus through the voices of students while collaborating with administrators and other individuals in positions of power. The Commuter Student Association was another branch of SGA looking for potential student candidates. The CSA advocates for commuters and gives them a chance to involve themselves on campus, both by giving them a voice and offering them programming to participate in. Lastly, all of the Class Councils were up for election. The job of these organizations is to unite their classes and represent them as a vital part of the Siena community. 

The first step in the election process for candidates was to obtain petitions. Students who were interested in running for a position were able to begin petitioning on October 11th. All candidates had the required number of signatures that they needed to obtain in order to have their names placed on the ballot. The Student Events Board and Student Senate both required candidates to receive 200 signatures from any member of the student body. The Commuter Student Association candidates needed 100 signatures from only commuters, and the Classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 each required 100 signatures from students in only their classes. There was one exception within the Student Senate, which was the position of Senator at Large, requiring 100 signatures from the general student body. All of these petitions were due on November 1st. All candidates worked hard to spread the word and send out the link to their petitions by approaching students in Casey’s, spreading the word in classes and club meetings, and flagging down students traveling to classes to obtain their signatures. The SGA Elections Committee, which was made up of SEB Treasurer Blake Rivers, Student Senate President Michael Simeone, and CSA President, Theologjia Sofi, reviewed the petitions once submitted. 

After all potential candidates submitted their petitions, they were notified if they were approved to continue moving forward with the election process. While, unfortunately, some were not, many were. The official candidates gathered on November 8th for a Mandatory Candidates Meeting. I was a candidate for the position of Student Senate Vice President, so I can reflect on my experience at this meeting. All of the candidates were extremely excited that our hard work petitioning had paid off! We enjoyed one another’s company and learned about our next steps. Blake, Michael, and Theologjia explained that we should begin writing our speeches for Speech Night on November 15th. We discussed the rules of campaigning, which required each candidate to place a campaign flier in the Sarazen Student Union. 

All candidates placed beautifully crafted flyers in the Sarazen Student Union just in time for Speech Night. The candidates dressed professionally and were eager to read the speeches that they prepared, between 2 and 5 minutes long each. There was a good turnout of support, and as a candidate myself, I can confidently state that it meant a lot having the backing of the student body. Election Day came on November 17th. All voting took place on SAINTSConnect between 12 a.m. and 6 p.m. Candidates posted on social media to market themselves to their fellow students. All candidates received phone calls on the evening of the 17th and were allowed to formally share the good news with their friends and family once the office of Student Activities and Leadership Development announced the results. 

I would like to offer congratulations to all of the new members of SGA in each respective branch. After having the opportunity to work with everyone during the election process, I know the Siena Saints are in the hands of strong leaders who will provide us with great support and unity over the next year.