SGA president and vice president elections

Olivia Doak

Spring brings a fresh start for student government. On Monday, April 1., and Tuesday, April 2., student elections will be held to elect a new president and vice president of Augustana Student Government Association (SGA).
“You want to vote for people that are going to implement the changes that you want to see,” said Belle Hartman, current Vice President of SGA. Although, she graduated last term, the senate voted and approved her to remain in her position. “You want good leaders in that role and a good representation of yourself.”
SGA is in charge of funding student groups and making changes on campus, whether it be putting hammocks in the quad or being involved in decisions about the construction of new academic buildings. They are also the main avenue for students to voice their concerns to administration.
“One thing I think that you don’t really see until you are in the position is that the people who are vice president and president have far more access to administration than you could even imagine,” said senior President Adam Gronewold. Through them, any student at Augie has the power to make changes that students want to see happen.
One way that students can get involved is by simply going to SGA meetings. “I want the students to know they are welcome to come to our meetings and see what we do,” said senior election committee chair, Margaret Utgaard. “Our meetings are open and any student is allowed to come and voice their concerns directly.”
In preparation for this election, SGA worked hard to make changes to the election code to make the elections more fair and hold candidates to a higher standard.
One major change is that the candidates have to meet certain qualification in order to run. For example, they must acquire 300 signatures by their peers, signifying that they would be a good candidate to run. They must also complete a background check to make sure there are no major infractions on their record, like a Title IX violation.
Additionally, starting this year, the candidates running for President and Vice President may not announce who they want to be members of their executive board and campaign with them.
“We’re trying to get the most qualified candidates as possible,” Utgaard said. “By eliminating the President or Vice President from running with an exec board, we can have the largest number of qualified candidates.”
On March 12, there will be a meet and greet in the Brew to get to know the candidates. After a few weeks of campaigning, there will be an open forum on March 27 where students can ask the candidates any questions they have.
It’s important to pay attention to campaign material and understand what the candidates are running on. “Your vote matters,” Hartman said. “It’s your duty as a student at Augustana to vote for who you think is right.”