Each year, the K-State student body elects more than 50 students to represent them in the Student Governing Association. From allocating funds to speaking up for students in local and state government, student senators serve the student body in a number of ways.
With a limited number of positions, students have to campaign for their spots. Campaigning starts early in the spring semester for students that register by the deadline (which is this Friday at 4 p.m.) through iSIS under the Student Government Elections tab.
There are a number of ways to campaign, but some ways are more successful than others.
“One of the best strategies to run is to find someone else who is in your college and run together,” said Ryan Aeschliman, graduate in industrial engineering, communications committee chair and three-term student senator.
Aeschliman said that he had always been curious about student government and chose to run for SGA because he liked the idea of being able to use his skills to serve others.
Meredith Funk, senior in communication studies, took a different approach when she ran her first campaign two years ago.
“My first year I chalked all over campus,” Funk said. “My slogan was ‘Got Funk?’ I thought it was so clever. And I did a lot of social media.”
Social media is the top choice of campaigners. Using Facebook pages and Twitter, senator hopefuls can reach the masses in a short order. Widespread campaigns can be necessary, considering candidates need around 100 votes to win a seat in most colleges. That being said, potential candidates can still reach out in a multitude of ways.
For Dylan Hunter, junior in civil engineering and second-term senator, after teaming up with his fraternity brother and another friend in the College of Engineering, they chose face-to-face outreach instead of social media. Hunter said he felt that talking to people about why he was passionate about serving students was more impactful.
“Don’t be afraid to approach people,” Funk said. “Be fearless and just go for it.”
Sarah Haley, senior in psychology and elections commissioner, urges students who don’t have experience in SGA to give it a shot and file to run.
“I think that there’s a lot that can be done in your college and you gain so much experience from it,” Haley said. “I encourage all those who are seeking a way to get involved at K-State and learn more about where your money goes and how to increase diversity at our university, to try SGA. This is the best avenue in my eyes to do so.”
Following Friday’s filing deadline, candidates will have an informational meeting on either Monday, Feb. 16 or Tuesday, Feb. 17 with Haley to go over necessary information to ensure that students know how to run a clean campaign and get the correct paperwork filled out. One of the biggest mistakes candidates make, according to Haley, is forgetting to turn in an expense report.
“Even though you may not spend anything, you still have to turn in your expense report,” Haley said.
Primarily for paperwork purposes, the absence of an expense report will result in students being removed from the ballot.
The primary election, which decides which two president and vice president pairing will be on the general election ballot, will take place from 8 a.m. on Feb. 25 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 26. The general election will take place from 8 a.m. on March 3 to 6 p.m. on March 4.