Special election held for vacant Senate seats

Seventeen vacant seats in the Student Government Senate prompted the Election Rules Committee to call for a special election in hopes of filling as many of its 60 total seats as possible.

If student body president-elect Juan Soltero chooses to appoint any Senate members to his cabinet, there will be even more vacant seats, said Supervisor of Elections Michael van Hoek.

The College of Nursing and the College of Public Health have no seats filled. The colleges have three seats and one seat open, respectively.

Several other colleges also have vacant seats: the College of the Arts has one available, the College of Education has four, the College of Engineering has one and the College of Business has the most with seven.

The special election will give students who were unfamiliar with the application process another opportunity to run for a Senate seat, said van Hoek, as well as some students who tried to run in the first election.

“A couple students wanted to run but had been disqualified by the Election Rules Committee,” van Hoek said.

The special election will allow one student who was disqualified in the initial election to run again. The student petitioned the disqualification, and the court ruled in the student’s favor.

“I can’t think of a greater gift to give to the incoming administration than to give them a senate that’s as full as possible,” van Hoek said.

Van Hoek said he decided to hold the election before the end of the semester because the supervisor of elections is in office only during certain dates, and the next possible election would be the midterm election in December.

Applications for Senate seats are due by 5 p.m. Monday, van Hoek said. When students turn in applications, they will be given statutes and rules. The same rules governing campaigning and budgeting apply as during the regular election, he said.

Students with declared majors will be able to run and vote only in their designated college, if seats are available, while undeclared majors can choose one college for which to vote.

Voting will run from 9 a.m. April 29 to 7 p.m. April 30. Students both on and off campus will have access to voting through Blackboard, but there will not be polling stations set up as in the regular election.

Results will be announced April 30 at 7:30 p.m.