Your voice, your vote: the SGA Senate elections

Photo Courtesy of Xavier Student Government Association | The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the writer and do not reflect the opinions of the Newswire staff as a whole.

Be honest, did you know there was an election two weeks ago? Not nationally, not statewide, but right here at Xavier. Two weeks ago, we elected 20 qualified, bright students to serve as your representatives on the Student Government Association (SGA).

A month after the big executive election with vibrant shirts, lively debates and promising platforms, there’s another election for the twenty other members of SGA: the senators. This year we saw multiple qualified Executive candidates who brought in a record breaking 2076 votes. But for Senate elections, we didn’t even break 500 votes.

During the executive election it seems as if everyone cares about Xavier and Student Government, from food options and the large incoming classes to housing for first-years and the lack of resources for mental health. For ten days in October you can find students asking all the questions: Can we get more parking? When will food prices go down? What are you going to do about bias incidents? The executive elections captivate students, yet for some reason, the senate elections don’t.

From a senator, here’s why you should vote in the executive and senate elections.

The role of a senator is to represent students, yet we fail to elect an association that is representative of the student body. There are few to no commuter students represented. There are four seats reserved for first-years senators, yet other classes are represented without the same proportion.

At the end of the day, every Monday, we have a room of twenty students trying to represent different factions of our campus that, frankly, we might not know anything about.

Executive candidates have lengthy platforms with dozens of new, exciting ideas and projects. But when it comes down to it, the executives have to get senators on board to fund, advance and help with their projects.

And then there’s the bit about the money. Every student pays a $115 student activity fee every semester — a total of about $850,000 — which makes up the SGA budget.

The funding goes to student organizations, the airport and shopping shuttles, SAC events, Newswire, Alternative Breaks and pretty much any piece of free pizza you’ve ever eaten. Twenty senators decide and approve how all that funding gets spent. If this article speaks to nothing else, remember that senators are in charge of your money.

Student Government is your association. It works best when you utilize it, when you vote for senators who represent you. By all means, Student Government is not for everyone, it is tough, you don’t get paid, it takes hours out of your week and at the end of the day people yell at you for not lowering tuition. But voting for senators, that’s for everyone.

Next fall, when the executive candidates stop using their Instagrams and campus is devoid of colorful shirts, remember the senate elections and vote here.

This piece was written by Ellen Rakowski, Chair of the Student Organizations Committee for Student Government Association (SGA). It was co-signed by SGA Senators Robyn Arnould, Haley Dickerson, Jacob Jansen, Kendall King, Brennan Kizer-Ball, Maryn McCarty, Sam Peters, Julian Razo, Katy Schuller and Ryan Spolar.