Potential candidates finalize their applications to run for Student Senate
BY BRAD BYRNE STAFF WRITER
As the fall semester begins a new cycle of freshmen moving in, seniors preparing for graduation or going to basketball games, it also means the Student Government fall 2021 semester elections are about to take place.
Ten seats in the Student Senate are reserved for new freshman and transfer students every fall semester. However, this year, there have been some changes to these elections.
If seats are vacant, Student Government will hold a special election to fill vacant seats in the Student Senate, which are available to all Mason students. There are seats vacant because numerous Student Senators have dropped since last spring semester.
Members of the Student Senate serve as representatives for the student body and are required to sit on two of the following committees: Administrative and Financial Affairs, Academics, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, Government and Community Relations, Services and University Life.
Candidates go through a series of events that lead to their inevitable campaigning and election. Candidates had to attend at least one mandatory candidacy meeting with the Elections and Disputes Commission between Sept. 13 and Sept. 24 this year — either in-person or virtual.
The candidates had to complete this step prior to completing an election candidacy application, which closed Sept. 24. After doing this final step, candidates were notified of their candidacy status on Sept. 25 and will begin campaigning starting Sept. 27.
Campaigning can take place on social media or around campus. Along with campaigning, candidates are also able to have organizational endorsements, which are then approved by the Elections and Disputes Commission (EDC). On each ballot, candidates with have their own statement next to their name explaining general information about them.
Olga Diupina, senior and chair of the EDC, gave her thoughts on what the commission does at Mason.
“The Elections and Dispute Commission works on conducting Senate elections during the fall 2021 semester. We prepare and lead sessions for prospective candidates to make sure [that] they are prepared for the process,” said Diupina
Diupina also stressed the importance of what the commission does to help elections go by smoothly.
“Additionally, we may deal with any grievances that may come up during the election process,” Diupina said.
As chair of the EDC, Diupina has specific duties to accomplish.
“As a chair, I make sure that we have enough people to lead the session and communicate with the candidates,” she said.
Mason students can vote for these Senate seats through Mason 360 starting on Oct. 4, with the polls closing for voting at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 6. Spring elections will be held in the spring for Student Body President and Vice President, as well as the other 30 Student Senate seats.