Keeping the upcoming SUUSA elections fair, unbiased and civil

The Southern Utah University Student Association elections are coming up quickly and while campaigning does not start until March 7, candidates have started going to meetings to learn more about how to campaign so they can help to create change on campus. 

Wednesday, Feb. 16 was the first official meeting for students who are wanting to run for elected positions. At this meeting, they learned about the guidelines for the election; were reminded of the important dates for meetings, campaigning and elections; and were introduced to the Elections Commission—a group of three political science majors.

The candidate election packet says, “The purpose of the Election Commission is to ensure an orderly election process for both the candidates and the student body.” 

The meeting focused on giving the candidates all of the information they needed to help ensure the election is being run fairly including going over things like budget reporting, the SUUSA constitution and election bylaws.They were also given information on how to apply for funds to help offset campaign costs. 

John O’Donnell, the election director and member of the Election Commission, said, “Student votes matter and democracy is key.”

The candidates then had a workshop on Thursday, Feb. 17 and discussed how to create a campaign team and talk to other students about their campaign, being reminded to keep campaigns fair, unbiased and civil. 

Heather Garcia, the assistant director of Student Involvement & Leadership, advised the candidates not to attack their competition in their campaigns and keep things civil, saying, “The best campaigns are not anti-campaigns—focus on yourself.”

SUUSA campaigns and primary elections begin on March 7 and end on March 11. The general election will begin on March 11 and end on March 18 at 5p.m.

A debate for executive council candidates, not college senator candidates, will be held March 15 and 17 in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sam Critterden, the current chief of staff said, “Vote! It’s on the portal and the app. We need as many people to vote as possible.”

All information on the upcoming election and meetings can be found here.

The next mandatory meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Starlight Room and it is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the upcoming election. 

Article by: Callie King-Stevens

Photos courtesy of: Callie King-Stevens