Students interested in becoming presidential and vice presidential candidates for next year’s Student Government Association got started early this year—four months early, in fact.
At least two groups of potential candidates have come forth stating that they intend to run. The groups (Levi Bachmeier/Matt Dymoke and Ryan Deschene/Andy Mackner) both said that they decided to run just two months into the school year. “We decided early on that we weren’t going to be the type of campaign…that would throw things together last minute,” Bachmeier said.
Instead, both groups have allegedly been working on platforms, developing plans and creating other general guidelines for how they intend to approach the campaign.
“We’ve spent a lot of hours already to figure out how to best put out our vision,” Deschene said.
The main focus of both groups is the development of a strong campaign platform that will address the needs they see within Concordia.
“We’re not going to go after anything, or create a solution, for a problem that doesn’t exist,” Bachmeier said.
Neither group has disclosed exact details on what their platforms will consist of, since there are still several steps they have to take before official campaigning begins.
SGA’s Elections and Credentials Council has just recently finalized their plans for running this year’s campaign. Jonathan Mergens, ECC commissioner, said the campaign process is multi-faceted.
First, SGA hosts an interest meeting (which will happen on Jan. 31) where students can come to learn more about elections. Possible candidates are required to get signatures from their fellow students to show that they have support from the student body to run for an office. Those running for class representative positions are required to get 75 signatures from members of their own class. President/vice president pairs are required to get 300 signatures.
These signatures are then turned in to SGA and the candidates can start campaigning. Campaigning lasts for one week before elections, which will take place Feb. 11-18. The night before elections, candidates are required to remove their advertising materials from all public spaces on campus.
Mergens said that the ECC has changed several rules this year to try to make the election go smoothly.
“[ECC is] hoping to eliminate some of the grey area from last year,” Mergens said.
Last year, it was unclear who exactly had to follow the campaign rules set forth by the ECC. In order to clarify this, the ECC is now requiring each president/vice president pair to make recommendations for the Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant positions when they submit their signatures. Both of these positions are appointed. All four will then be required to sign a form saying they agree to follow all the rules of campaigning.
Voting will occur by email on Feb. 19, and the winner will be announced later that night.
Bachmeier, Dymoke, Deschene and Mackner have all run in previous campaigns, either as members of executive teams or as candidates for class representatives.
“It’s really given me an insight into how elections work—what you need to be doing in preparations,” Mackner said. He also said that losing in last year’s elections has made him more motivated this year.
Dymoke expressed a similar sentiment.
“It was definitely nice going through that experience last year in preparation for this year,” he said. “I was able to see what worked really well last year with our experience and what didn’t work so well and make some changes.”