The Student Government Association kicked off this year’s election cycle for the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Undergraduate Finance Board and the Class Coordinating Board with an information session Wednesday night.
Prospective candidates must attend one of the three election information sessions, held March 1, 3 and 6, according to a Feb. 24 email from the Student Government Association.
SGA consists of “three co-equal branches of student government at Brown,” said Joon Nam ’23, SGA elections chair. UCS focuses on “campus life projects” and “University policy and legislation,” UFB focuses on “club financing and managing the Student Activities Fund” and CCB holds class- and campus-wide events.
All three branches will run on the same deadlines this election cycle, according to Nam. “Historically, there have been a lot of clashes (and confusion),” he said. “We are one student government — that’s why we have a student government association — and we wanted to show that unification.”
In addition to open races for every elected position in UCS, UFB and CCB, the position of SGA elections chair is open for next year, said Nam.
Under the current elections timeline, all candidates must declare their candidacy by March 9 at 11:59 p.m., after which candidates will receive an email from SGA letting them know if their candidacy has been accepted.
From Mar. 10 to Mar. 20, candidates can actively campaign with materials approved by the elections board. Though students can submit campaign materials to the board before, they cannot start actively campaigning until the start date. Campaign material costs must stay under $25, which “includes subscription fees for graphic design websites,” Nam said.
In order to declare their candidacy, candidates must gather 50 signatures from students in support of their candidacy in addition to submitting a short blurb and a photo. On March 10, all candidates’ information will be posted on the SGA website.
This year, there will be “no centralized system to collect and give endorsements,” Nam said, though candidates can still seek club-approved endorsements.
Candidates for UCS President, UFB Chair and CCB Senior Co-Presidents will be required to speak at an open forum event Mar. 14, though other candidates will be invited to speak on an opt-in basis, according to the slides presented at the event.
On March 17 at 12 p.m., ballots will be sent to the student body via email. On March 20 at 11:59 p.m., ballots will close and candidates will be required to remove all campaigning materials from campus. Results will be announced both via email and in person on the Faunce steps March 22 at 7 p.m..
This year’s election timeline will also be longer than last year’s, according to UCS elections chair Eli Sporn ’24.
“There were a few complex issues that led to a scrunched-down election timeline,” Sporn said.
“Past that, we wanted to expand general campaigning and candidacy accessibility simply because more access to be able to run (leads to) a better election,” he added.
For UCS, the election will come shortly after a months-long recall process concluded with President Ricky Zhong ’23 retaining his position — and roughly a year after Zhong won a runoff election after he appealed the results of the initial elections for violating SGA’s election procedures at the time, The Herald previously reported.
“One of our main priorities with this election is to make sure that it’s equitable and fair,” Nam said. “We’re trying to create a culture of … running an honorable and clean campaign.”
Indigo Mudbhary is a University news senior staff writer covering student government. In her free time, she enjoys running around Providence and finding new routes.