By Shianna Gibbons
The Youngstown State University Student Government Association announced it was accepting forms to declare candidacy for the 2023-2024 academic year. The deadline is Feb. 16 at 5 p.m.
Students can run to be representatives of their college, for senator positions and also president and vice president. President and vice president require students to run as a pair and garner 150 student signatures for the president petition form.
Elsa Khan, a senior biology major and vice president of student life, said there is a tight deadline to declare candidacy for SGA.
“Anyone who wants to run [has to] get that form in ASAP. It is a little bit different depending on who wants to apply,” Khan said. “If you are applying for senator or representative, you fill out the form, your name, your Y number, your major, what college you’re from and if you have a 2.5 minimum GPA. If you’re going for president or vice president … [they’ll] have to get 150 signatures by the 16th.”
Khan said there are different levels of responsibilities for each position. These responsibilities typically consist of attending meetings and staying involved on campus.
Representatives are required to attend the body and committee meetings that occur every other Monday. Representatives also have to complete 15 representative hours a semester. This requires representatives to work at the SGA or YSU-sponsored event.
Khan said this is to ensure representatives are active in YSU’s student body.
“That way you’re actually advocating and listening to everyone on campus, and you can maximize your time as a [representative],” Khan said.
Khan said, at minimum, senators meet the first Wednesday of every month. There are also different committees that meet on their own time with a faculty advisor of that committee such as the library committee, the teaching and learning committee, the honors committee and more.
The executive team consists of a president, vice president, four vice presidents of different committees, parliament and chief of staff. Khan said these positions are a lot more involved.
“You’re taking a lot of initiative to work on the [executive] team to make our campus and really put out a lot of goals,” Khan said. “We have a whole bunch of goals we want to get done as a team. Some of the things that we are working on [are] the Aunt Flo machines, solar-powered tables installed and implemented.”
According to Khan, getting your name on the ballot is the first step, but campaigning for positions begins the first Monday after spring break. Khan also said there are a few campaigning rules. No campaigning in classrooms, flyers can only be the size of a regular sheet of paper, receiving approval to post flyers on boards and not harassing other candidates.
Nickiforos Mastorides, the president of SGA, said his campaigning process was intense but rewarding.
“I didn’t expect it to be as intense because this is the first time in my five years of watching SGA campaigns that there was three different [president and vice president] campaigns running against each other,” Mastorides said. “It was intense at times, but I don’t regret any second of it.”
Maguire Franko, the vice president of SGA, said campaigning requires a lot of dedication.
“While there were people traveling and whatnot — we spent our spring break creating flyers and reaching out to different people we could to develop the platform we had,” Franko said. “It was fun but it was an extremely stressful time.”
Mastorides and Franko said the biggest responsibility of SGA is to listen, unite, represent and serve the student body.
“The role of student government is to advocate on student’s behalf, and I think if you’re not listening to the student body, then there’s really no point to serve in this role,” Franko said.
Elections begin April 4 at 8 a.m. and close at midnight April 5. For more information on candidacy, campaigning and voting, go to SGA’s website.