Fourteen freshmen are campaigning for five class senator spots in this fall’s Student Government election. But towards the bottom of the ballot, only two candidates are listed as vying for the 10 open junior and senior positions.
The uneven participation distribution is typical for SG elections, said Adam Daniel-Wayman, chairman of the SG Election Oversight Committee.
The departure of many juniors and seniors from the SG is something the Board of Elections, which regulates SG elections, is working to address this year.
“This is something BOE tries to publicize and correct over the course of nomination season,” Anthony Dunham, the director of the BOE, said. “Unfortunately, the vacancies are due to various factors such as studying abroad, internships and other things that juniors and seniors like to do.”
Juniors and seniors naturally migrate to more professional or profitable avenues of involvement in D.C. or abroad, Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate Eric Reath said.
“Most of the [class of] 2012 has moved on to different positions in the SG or are becoming RAs or taking on a part-time job rather than the SG,” he said. “It’s just their choice of how they want to get involved on campus.”
Reath said he is confident, however, that these vacancies will be filled through the application process available later in the semester.
Some students are interested in senate seats but would rather not run in an election, Daniel-Wayman said.
Over the summer, Reath received more than 50 applications for 10 vacancies.
“The statistics look shocking, but I don’t foresee it being a problem, because I know there’s still people interested [in the open seats],” Reath said.
Dunham expressed some concern over the trend.
“It also may be an indicator of the SG as a whole, and we should look at those who want to be involved,” Dunham said. “If there isn’t a big push to be involved in SG through senior year I think we should look at ourselves and see what it is we are doing, who we are catering to? Are we truly catering to all undergraduate students?”