Today wraps up the final days for Student Government Association elections, with students having the chance to vote on Tigerlink until 2 p.m. today.
Potential senators have been campaigning in large numbers this year, chalking up sidewalks in the quad, hanging posters around the campus and some handing out flyers to students in the Union.
This year’s ticket is one of the largest SGA has seen in several years, with 46 running for seats on senate.
One of the most prominent elections this year is the change in office for president and vice-president. Senior and current president Tyler Thompson will be stepping down this year, giving way for two candidates to take his place, sophomore Carolyn Campbell running with freshman Braden Dreiling and senior Kyle Calvin running with current vice-president, junior Alex Hendee.
All four candidates have also been seen campaigning around campus and participated in two debates this month before the elections were held.
“I don’t think that we are in any better position than they are. We have both been campaigning really hard, and it’s great for the campus. We are just doing everything we can to make sure our name is out there,” Calvin said.
Much of the outpour of senate candidates came from students’ responses to getting involved from SGA members during the allocations process, after some students were left with a negative feeling and confusion about who actually represented them in the senate.
Senator and senior Jordan Schmeidler said he is happy to see the outpour of students getting involved in their campus.
“I think it shows a lot of engagement on the students’ behalf and shows that they want to stand up and become the voice to represent their college by voting. I think it also says a lot about SGA for what we were at the beginning of the year and what we are now,” Schmeidler said. “Also, the voter turnout really shows that students care and want to voice their opinion on who they want to bring into office.”
One of the students who voted in the election, sophomore Emily Brettmann said although she won’t be attending Fort Hays State University next year, she still wants to continue to see the campus thriving and students getting their voices heard.
“I voted because I wanted to make an impact. I think it’s important for students to get involved so they can get their voices heard. If they want to make a difference, they have to know how to speak up and who to go to, who can make a change and voting in this election is the beginning of that process,” Brettmann said.
Thompson explained that the senate is slightly larger this year, giving way to more available seats on senate and said he is happy to see the number of students running for seats on SGA.
“I think it’s great. We had a significant increase in the number of senate seats this year. When we redid the constitution, we grew the actual size of the senate from one student representing 130 to one student representing 100, which allowed us to increase I think 12-15 seats total,” Thompson said.
“And the fact that even with that, it’s contested and heavily contested; it’s really, really good. It hasn’t happened for a while, and it needs to happen. I wish it could happen every year.”
In terms of the presidential and vice-presidential elections, Thompson said he’s keeping all bias aside and is happy to see that the candidates are getting out and campaigning to the fullest.
“They are having fun, and that’s what matters. We have a lot of kids that are involved and engaged, and that’s what I want to see. I don’t care who wins; I just want to see them do what they are doing now. It’s been hectic up there … and again, I wish it could happen every year,” Thompson said.
Elections will take place until 2 p.m. today at tigerlink.fhsu.edu. Students can visit the SGA elections table in the Memorial Union, the Center for Student Involvement or the SGA office in the basement of the Memorial Union if they need assistance setting up their Tigerlink accounts. The announcement of the winners will take place at tonight’s SGA meeting at 7 p.m. in the Black and Gold room of the Memorial Union.