Senate elections end with only two classes electing senators

Garrison Earnest - Student Senate Treasure

Garrison Earnest – Student Senate Treasure

Student Senate elections are over.

Only two classes had enough students petition to hold an election.

This is up from last year when no elections were held.

The freshman class had 11 students petition for Senate, and the sophomore class had 12 students petition for Senate.

The junior class saw two students come forth, and the seniors saw seven.

“It’s frustrating that a campus of 6,000 can’t get 40 students to join Senate,” said Eric Norris, Senate president.

He said though he is glad the two lower classes showed an effort, he wanted more participation in the Senate as a whole.

“The way I look at it, it’s a prime year to focus on the freshmen and sophomores,” Norris said. “I’m pleased we have a vote.”

Garrison Earnest, Senate treasurer, said he, too, was disappointed with the numbers.

“It’s just poor,” he said. “It’s a poor effort on the student body.”

The elections would have allowed nine members from each class to join the Senate.

Now, those who want to fill a vacant spot must apply to the vacancy committee.

The committee is new to this semester, allowing each applicant to go through a review process before being allowed on Senate.

“I especially urge those who lost the election to apply to the vacancy committee,” Norris said.

He said he wants students on Senate who want to be on Senate.

Several students did not know about the election process.

“I don’t really understand what it is for,” said Katelyn Sealy, freshman political science major.

Sealy said she would have liked to see more advertising on the part of the officers.

Others agreed there was a lack in advertising.

“I didn’t even know about the elections,” said Morgan Shafer, freshman music major. “There’s nothing in the music department [about it].”

Shafer said the only advertising she saw for Senate appeared in the Billingsly Student Center.

Others, however, did know about the elections and Senate.

“I thought it was effective,” said Houston McDaniel, freshman health and wellness major.

McDaniel said, though, he did not know what Senate did and would not have joined himself because of a lack of time.

Norris said much of the lack in participation is due to a lack in time.

“The big thing I hear now is, ‘I’ve got to work,'” he said.

Norris said gas prices cause students to need more money, and therefore, must work longer shifts.

McDaniel agreed.

“They were probably just busy with classes and didn’t even worry about it,” he said.

The first unofficial meeting of student senators will be a picnic at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the pavilion by the Biology Pond.

Students who want to apply to the vacancy committee may pick up a form in the Student Services office.

All Senate meetings are open to the public.