The newly formed Student Government Association kicked off its first combined student government elections for the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Undergraduate Finance Board and the Class Coordinating Board with an information session Thursday night.
All prospective candidates had to attend the information session to be eligible to run, according to an April 4 CCB email.
Established at the end of last semester, the SGA — which is composed of UCS, UFB and CCB leadership —has worked to standardize the student government elections procedures and code of conduct, The Herald previously reported.
The SGA has restructured elections for all three branches “to make things more accessible,” said Mel Cui ’22, senior co-president of CCB.
Changes made to the spring 2022 elections procedures include reducing the number of signatures required for candidates to run from 100 to 50, shortening the election timeline from four weeks to one week, transitioning the traditional candidate debate into a less structured open platform event and eliminating official student groups endorsements, The Herald previously reported.
The SGA eliminated student group endorsements due to concerns about the association’s ability to manage endorsements for all candidates in the combined election. Due to this change, the SGA will not officially regulate or publicize any endorsements, and they will not be listed on the ballot.
Another change is rolling approval for campaign materials, Cui added. With this new rolling approval, students will be able to submit campaign materials to the SGA for approval as soon as their candidacy is verified.
According to Cui, CCB hosted an open platform event during its fall elections. The SGA will use an open platform for all three branches this spring in place of the traditional UCS and UFB debate.
Under the current elections timeline, prospective candidates can gather signatures and apply for candidacy up until April 10 at midnight, according to the SGA 2022 Elections Handbook, which was emailed to undergraduates.
While UCS and UFB candidates can get signatures from all undergraduate students, CCB candidates must obtain signatures only from students in their class, said current UCS President Summer Dai ’22.
The candidacy requirements include 50 signatures, a candidate statement of no more than 250 words and a photo of the candidate, according to the slides presented at the information session.
All candidate statements will be included in a schoolwide email sent at the beginning of the voting period, Cui said. She added that the SGA aims to maintain transparency by sending a list of approved candidates to all students running.
The open platform event is required for all presidential candidates for each branch and optional for everyone else, according to CCB senior co-president Bree Zhang ’22. According to the handbook, the event allows participants “to explain and discuss their platform with students.”
The open platform event is “a really great opportunity for you to interact with (other) students and also with your fellow candidates,” Cui said.
The open platform event will take place April 12 in Sayles Hall. Online voting will take place April 13 to April 15, and winning candidates will be announced April 18 on the steps of the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center.
Correction: A previous version of this story's headline misstated the year of the election season. The Herald regrets this error.
Kathy Wang is a University News editor who oversees the student government and international student life beats. She is a junior from Beijing, China studying Nonfiction Writing and Comparative Literature. Growing up, she has changed her English name at least five times.