SG general election candidates announced
Student Government (SG) general election campaigning begins as early as the start of next week, but the candidates were only certified and announced Friday afternoon.
There will be two presidential tickets running this election cycle as two were disqualified due to not meeting requirements on time, according to Supervisor of Elections Savannah Carr.
The certified presidential candidates are all coming from the Tampa campus and currently hold SG positions. The competing tickets are Deputy Chief Financial Officer Nithin Palyam with Relations Committee Chair Amy Pham, and Finance Committee Chair Truong Tran with Circuit Court Associate Judge Rughved Brahman.
One of the disqualified tickets didn’t meet conduct requirements, such as GPA or the necessary amount of credit hours.
For the other ticket, one of the candidates failed to submit the required declaration of intent, according to Carr. The candidate was disqualified after being reminded, and as of Thursday night, Carr said the remaining candidate was disqualified for not finding a new running mate.
A presidential debate will be held Thursday from 7-8 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater, but it will also be livestreamed on Microsoft Teams.
As of Friday morning, there is only one Tampa gubernatorial ticket running in the election. Joseph Cipriano and Tampa Sen. Gabrielle Henry will go uncontested, so the local debate, which was scheduled for Feb. 21, has been canceled, according to Carr.
The St. Pete campus has three tickets running for the governor and lieutenant governor spots. This includes Kenneth Bright and Zackery Morales, Nathan Poinsette and Kaiya Huggins, and St. Pete Sen. Sean Schrader and Joshua Rampertab.
When the local debate at the St. Pete campus will be held has yet to be determined, but it will be the week after the presidential debate, Carr said. It will likely be held in the Student Life Center.
The Sarasota-Manatee campus also only has one gubernatorial ticket this election. Deputy Chief Of Staff Evelyn De Oliveira and Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions Madison Sosa will go uncontested, so there will also be no local debate.
As for Senate applications, despite a 60-seat capacity across all campuses, only 51 students applied — 42 for Tampa, six for St. Pete and three for Sarasota-Manatee.
Each campus is given a certain amount of Senate seats based on student population, resulting in 45 at Tampa, eight at St. Pete and seven at Sarasota-Manatee.
However, a change to Article III Section II of the Constitution of the Student Body will be on the ballot, which would cut the legal SG Senate population from 60 to 40 seats.
If this were to be approved by a student-majority vote, Tampa’s seat count would lower to 31, St. Pete five and Sarasota-Manatee four.
Candidates are able to apply for both Senate and Campus Council, however, they would have to choose which role they prefer if they are voted into both positions.
There are 27 candidates running for Tampa Campus Council, seven for St. Pete and 11 for Sarasota-Manatee.
Overall, there are 30 council seats available across all campuses. Each campus’ seat count is also determined by student population. The Tampa campus has 12 seats while St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee both have nine.
Candidates will be able to campaign from Feb. 14 to March 3. Voting will begin Feb. 28 and also end March 3.