Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

SGA campaign gives voice to the student body

This year’s SGA presidential and vice presidential candidates are running mates Neleigh Rush and Tsion Nigate as well as running mates Kelly Moore and Izzy Blanford. Announced Wednesday, April 10, both teams are officially in the running for the 2024-25 election.

Augustana students can meet the candidates at the presidential and vice presidential meet and greet today, April from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Brew. Students also have the opportunity to ask candidates questions at the presidential and vice presidential debate on Monday, April 22 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Gavle 3. Students can also submit their questions online.

Presidential candidates Rush and Moore said they have been inspired since their first year to run for SGA president. 

“It was inspiring to see all the accomplishments that [upperclassmen] have done over the years, and I looked up to all of them,” Moore said. “That’s one of the things that pushed me to try to run.”

Rush said she hopes that more students learn about SGA and its role on campus during the election process.

“A lot of students don’t know about SGA,” Rush said. “The biggest challenge this year is making sure that we’re trying to reach as many students as we can.”

Amen Bekele, vice president of SGA, said SGA bridges the gap between students and administrators. Rachel Nandelenga, president of SGA, and Bekele meet with administrators to advocate for students and ensure their voices are heard. 

“The most important part of being president and vice president of SGA is making sure that the student body is represented completely,” Bekele said.

President and vice president nominees must run in a pair, similar to a United States presidential election. Once a pair decides to run together, they submit their names to the SGA executive board. 

When picking a running mate, Bekele said complementary leadership styles are crucial to a successful campaign and presidency. 

“It’s hard to find someone to run with,” Bekele said. “You have to make sure the goals you’re trying to achieve are the same because you’re going to spend so much time together with that person.”  

Before making it onto the official ballot, candidates must collect 300 signatures from the student body. According to Bekele, these signatures ensure that the student body wants these candidates to represent them in the upcoming election. Candidates who collect 300 signatures or more are officially SGA presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Candidates were officially announced in an email to the student body last Wednesday.

Before elections, candidates will meet students at the meet and greet and debate. Moore said she looks forward to connecting with and listening to students. 

“I’m looking forward to not just demonstrating and establishing our platform for the student body but actually getting to have conversations with the students,” Moore said.  

Rush said she looks forward to the debate. After running for president last year, Rush said she looks forward to articulating her passions and hearing what students say. 

“Being able to say what you feel and have people hear that passion behind your voice… I feel like that’s the most important thing,” Rush said. 

Elections will take place on April 23 and 24. All students will receive an email with a code and instructions for voting. This year’s ballot will have three tickets: one for Rush/Nigate, another for Moore/Blanford and a third for write-ins. All students are encouraged to vote, including the graduating senior class.

The candidates with the majority of votes from the student body will win the election. After being elected, candidates will create a budget application for the following year, run upcoming senate elections and assemble an executive board. The Senate must approve the appointed executive board. 

Rush said she hopes to advocate for and inform students, and Moore aims to amplify student voices. More information on all candidates can be found on their Instagram pages: @rush.nigate4sga2024 and @voices4augie2024.  

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