Interested in helping students, making changes and improving SDSU? Students’ Association (SA) applications are now available in the SA office in the Union. Applications are being accepted for new senators from Jan. 22 until the elections at the end of February.
According to Susanna Marking, a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, some of the things SA did last semester include lobbying in Pierre, S.D., touring other universities’ wellness centers and working with the city of Brookings on off-campus housing.
“We want a diverse group of students with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences,” Marking said. “We specifically encourage more students from the College of Nursing and Graduate School to apply, as those positions have rarely been filled in the past.”
Any full-time SDSU student can apply. The application requires students to provide some basic information such as their major and the college they represent. Students are also required to list three goals and the reason they should be senators, said Erik Hanson, a mechanical engineering junior and representative for the College of Engineering.
“Make sure your application is presentable and you have attainable goals. Many times students just write down things they do not know much about or goals that will not benefit the students or the university,” said Katie Jo McGuire, a senior music education major and a senator for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Hanson suggests that students talk with their peers to see what their concerns are about their college or the university as a whole. “You can also meet with your college’s dean or other faculty to see what issues they see as important,” Hanson said. “However, since the SA represents students, the concerns of the students should take priority.”
After students have these portions of the application filled out, they are required to obtain signatures from 50 people, or five percent of the enrollment in their college, said Kelsey Wuttke, a hotel management senior and representative of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
After filling out an application, candidates are encouraged to campaign for the election, said Marking.
The elections will take place at the end of February, and students will vote for the president and vice president as well as candidates within their college. After elections, the new senators are sworn in and the at-large senator selection process begins, said Marking.
According to Marking, at-large senators represent the whole student body instead of their specific colleges. These candidates need to get signatures from the whole student body and are not elected, but they are asked to speak in front of the Senate and are interviewed. The Senate then chooses the people to fill the at-large positions.
“Although running for at-large positions after the elections is an option, SA encourages students to try running in the election,” Marking said.
SA senators have a variety of requirements to fulfill as elected and appointed members of the student government.
“A big part of being on Senate is getting other students involved and keeping them informed as to how things work and the opportunity to represent the students and to give the administration the students’ point of view,” said Audrey Bloemendaal, an at-large senator and mechanical engineering senior.
Senators are required to have two office hours per week and attend weekly meetings, according to Becca Lutz, a senior College of Family and Consumer Sciences senator. They must also attend any committee meetings to which they are assigned.
Brice Meyer, a junior wildlife and fisheries major, said he considered running for SA, but is active in other organizations, so he doesn’t have enough time to be a part of SA too.
“The hardest part of the job is balancing your time and only getting as involved as what you can handle,” said Bloemendaal. “SA is something that you can be as involved as you want to.”
SA is an opportunity for students to learn how the university works and how to start making changes within the university.
“The hardest part of the job can be knowing how to start a project,” said Hanson. “You may have a great idea for how to improve the campus but might not know how to start. However, one of the strengths of SA is that there is almost always someone that knows who you can talk to in order to get started. So while starting a project may be difficult, it provides a tremendous learning opportunity about how the campus works.”
“Any student who is even remotely interested in applying should definitely pick up an application and run,” Marking said. “Take the time to stop in our office or speak to a senator you already know, and we’ll be more than happy to tell you about what our experiences have been as a representative of the students. Also, everyone is welcome to come to our meetings-there are always seats in the back for the public. It’s a good way to get a sense of the work we do and the atmosphere we work in.”
SA meets every Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Lewis and Clark room on the upper level of the Union.