Student Senate voting trends increasing

Sarah Hillenbrand

The voting for the Grand Valley State University Student Senate elections began this week, with voting available online and the option to choose up to ten candidates. Once the voting is over, the 44 people with the most votes will join the new Student Senate.

Lindsay Viviano, vice president of the Public Relations Committee, said the numbers for voter turnout are currently higher than last year, but the senators are continually trying to get more students to vote.

Voting for representatives on Student Senate should matter to the general student body because decisions made by senate affect them in one way or another, said Tendo Lukwago, executive vice president of Student Senate.

“Student Senate is the elected group of students that essentially represents the student body when interacting with faculty, staff and administration. That said, it’s important to not only know who is running for a seat on the student government, but to vote and ensure your voice is being heard,” Lukwago said.

Anthony Clemons from the Diversity Affairs Committee agreed that students should vote so that those on senate are representing what they hope to see accomplished in the university.

“The Board of Trustees, the Senior Management Team and other administrative professionals read the decisions made by the Student Senate body as the voice of the whole student body. To ensure that their voice is getting heard they should elect someone who they think best represents them,” Clemons said.

Once the new senators are elected, nominations for the cabinet positions are made at the first general assembly with the new senate. The cabinet elections then take place at the next general assembly meeting, and the new student senators vote for those nominated to cabinet positions, Viviano said.

“It matters to the general student body who represents them on Student Senate because the Student Senate is the student voice to change in the university,” said Nick Conley from the Public Relations Committee. “Students should want to ensure that those representing them on the body value the same things for the university.”

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