Some senate seats hot, others ignored

Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg

The polls open are now open on a mostly-full slate of Students’ Association Senate candidates, Feb. 28 – March 1.

During the two-day stretch, students can vote either online or at on-campus polling stations, choosing the students that represent the college they attend.

All 28 senate seats are up for grabs. Those vying for a slot representing the College of Arts and Science have the most competition, with roughly two candidates for each seat. But nobody has even shown up for some colleges, including graduate studies and general studies.

Outgoing SA President Alex Halbach said he’s disappointed that he and outgoing Vice President Kat Brandtjen couldn’t get more people to run.

“Kat and my goal was to get a race in every college, and we fell short of that in a couple colleges,” he said.

“I was disappointed in that. I wish I knew how to reach out to more people and get them involved.”

Halbach said he tried to get the word out early about the open senate seats by hanging up posters and e-mailing deans for names of top students, but met little success.

“In the past I think it’s been just word of mouth advertising,” he said. “I think it’s quite obvious that that’s not what works anymore, I think it doesn’t get the job done.”

But Halbach said he’s happy to see some of this year’s senators applying for next year’s seats.

“It’s good to see that some of those guys are coming back again, to bring back some senior leadership,” he said.

At a forum Feb. 27, senate candidates talked about what they wanted to get done for students if elected. A continued push for wireless Internet access was a central theme for many candidates.

“Right now we’re in the process of moving into Division-1 athletics, we’re already Division-I academics, but we’re not Division I in technology,” said Eric Hanson, a political science and economics major.

The forum was held in The Market in The Union. About 150 students filled the bustling dining area, not all paying attention to the candidates’ speeches. But some did stay, listening to those who hoped for a vote.

The wireless issue seemed to strike a chord with students present.

“I think there should be more wireless available on-campus, campus-wide,” said Chelsea Wecker, a pre-pharmacy sophomore.

Several candidates said they would push to do something about parking – a yearly campaign issue for those hoping for senate seats.

Christopher Vaughn, a health promotions/pre-physical therapy major said with the plans for several new buildings on campus, clearly there is money available.

“If they have the money to spend on those buildings, why don’t they spend it on a parking ramp,” he said.

Eddie Krueger, a math senior, said he was especially impressed by William Reed, Tony Temple and Chris Daugaard – all candidates for College of Arts and Science seats.

“(Daugaard) was very informed,” he said. “The way he spoke was with the confidence of that experience.”

Sitting nearby, Emily Wickstrom, an undeclared sophomore, said she planned to vote for Reed and was impressed by Temple, a freshman.

“He sounds more informed than me, and I’m a sophomore,” she said.

The new senators will take their seats March 20. Any empty seats will be assigned to at-large senator applicants by the Students’ Association after the election. Hanson, a candidate for Students’ Association Senate, speaks at a candidate forum in the Union Feb. 27.:Brandon DeVries