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After voting, senator positions still open

Of 15 available senator positions, six positions had no competition and three remain empty.  |  Infographic by Sean Leone/THE CHIMES

 

During voting for Student Government Association senators on March 7 and 8, six senators ran unopposed and three positions were left unfilled. Of the other six positions, the races were close besides only one position, Hart senator, varying more than 20 percent between the two nominees.

Running & Applications

No one ran for the West Block position or two Off-Campus and Commuter positions. Therefore, these positions will be hired through an application and interview process. The West Block application was due March 14, as a result of the timing of the Biola Housing apartment selection process, and the OCC senator application is due March 25 at 3 p.m.

Overall, the closest race was for the position of Blackstone senator where Daniel Julien, junior political science major, won with 52 percent of the vote with his competition Seth Heinz, junior history major, trailing by only six votes.

Unopposed Running

A total of six positions had only one candidate: Sigma, Alpha East, North Horton, South Hope, Stewart and East Block.

Katherine Davis, freshman psychology major, ran unopposed and campaigned for the position of Sigma senator. Davis cares about fostering dorm community and genuine interaction.

“It’s different if you run unopposed but I treated it as I if was running against somebody because that’s how much I care,” Davis said.

Junior psychology major Becca Olguin also ran for the Bluff senator position unopposed, but did not know until she took campaign photos for the ballot. She explained that she had a better connection to the Bluff compared to the Block and was dedicated to run as the senator of that location.

“When I went to go take the pictures for the ballots online they were like, ‘There’s no one running for the Block if you want to switch you would just get it automatically,’ and I was like, ‘Um, no. I feel pretty committed,’” Olguin said. “I’m not going to just take the easy way even though it’s tempting.”

Friendly Competition

In South Horton there was some friendly competition that came down to a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent with the winner being Andrew Morgan, freshman philosophy major.

“I campaigned against a guy directly across the hall from me so that was a little interesting and there was some tension there but I was really grateful for my campaign team and the friends I had helping me out cause they kept me in check a little bit with my competitive spirit,” Morgan said.

Morgan, along with other senators, expressed his view that students do not always seek to share their opinions with SGA senators. In the long run, this can become harmful when the communication between students and administration breaks down. Morgan hopes to address this issue through the President’s Administrative Council partnerships. These partnerships create an opportunity for senators to meet with administration regularly to maintain two-way communication between administrators and students.

The Hardest Part

“I think getting an accurate picture of the students to show administration will be the hardest part, because...I don’t think a lot of people care [about talking with their SGA senators] so if they don’t care, their voices don’t get heard and their opinions don’t get represented and so the administration doesn’t know what’s going on,” Morgan said.

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