Photo by Matthew Claybrook
This fall, three members of the Student Government Association (SGA) will be leaving their roles to study abroad. Because members of SGA are elected or appointed for the full calendar year, these three vacant positions will have to be filled in the fall.
The positions of sophomore senator Carson Bolding, junior senator Taylor Volzer and chief-of-staff Jared Munoz, sophomore, will each be vacant at the beginning of the fall semester. Munoz’s position is a cabinet position, which is appointed by the president of SGA, currently junior Ty Tinker.
“Because I’m an appointed official, they’ll just start the appointment process over again,” Munoz said. “I recommend a few names, senators can recommend names to the president, he does his own research, and he finds someone that he thinks will be a suitable replacement for the second half of the term. It would only be a half-term appointment. That’s how the appointments work.”
The class of 2020 and 2021 senator vacancies will be filled through a different process because these are elected positions.
“Unfortunately, since it’s not around campus election time, we do have to facilitate elections solely within student government,” Tinker said. “Basically, we send an application and we look for qualified individuals. We do a lot of reaching out; we send a campus-wide email saying that there are positions open.”
At the beginning of next semester, SGA will hold a vote for those who have applied for the open senator positions.
“We’ll vote under an executive session,” Tinker said. “The candidate must obtain a simple majority of the senate quorum, so basically those who are voted in with a simple majority will be put into a finals and then we’ll narrow it down from there. We do it by grade level, so if only one person applies to replace a junior senator, they’ll have the position. That’s why it’s very important to us to reach out a lot and gather potential candidates. Those who may not have been elected the first time around are fantastic candidates.”
It is not uncommon for students in SGA to leave in the middle of their term, and there is no rule that prevents this from occurring.
“For one reason or another over the years, they haven’t accounted for anything in the governing documents,” said Jamie Thompson, SGA adviser. “To me, that sends a message that the student body and the elected folks and the cabinet each year haven’t desired to put those restrictions on the senator roles or the cabinet roles. We see more and more students studying abroad each year, so part of that might just be providing flexibility for students to take on leadership positions, and study abroad I think, for the student organizations, it comes as a sacrifice to the organization for consistency purposes. I certainly understand why students want to create the flexibility for their peers to do both things.”
Tinker encourages any interested students to apply for the senator positions that will be open. Rising juniors are encouraged to apply for the open sophomore senator position and rising seniors are encouraged to apply for the open junior senator position. Those interested in running can email Tinker at firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest.