Student Government Association election race begins, looks different this year

Then-senior presidential candidate Jordan Kiehl states her platform for the future of Kansas State Student Governing Association during the 2018 presidential candidate debate. (Archive photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

This year, Kansas State elections will stray from those of national government, where candidates compete in primaries before the general presidential election, Reed Krewson, senior in political science, said.

Krewson, who is also the Student Governing Association elections commissioner, said K-State will use the instant run-off voting system this year.

“This means there is the possibility for a whole bunch of candidates to run simultaneously,” Krewson said. “Then, when we reach election day, voters will rank their preferences instead of voting for just one candidate.”

The process changed to make voting easier for students, Krewson said.

“It is difficult for students to vote, especially with two elections,” Krewson said. “So this simplifies the process and makes sure there is only one election rather than two.”

Emma Beatty, sophomore in computer science, said she did not even vote in the primaries this past year.

“I honestly did not realize there were two elections,” Beatty said. “I just saw a link on Instagram saying, ‘Vote for SGA president,’ and I voted without thinking too much about it.”

Cameron Koger, senior in marketing and SGA vice president, said there have been no more than three presidential candidates in the past three elections.

“Last year, especially with only two candidates, the primaries became a sort of formality,” said Koger. “So I am really excited to see how this new process works for this year’s candidates.”

Koger said the campaign season could drag on for candidates.

“Going back to last year when I campaigned, I noticed how tedious the process was, and you even start to wonder what more you can do,” Koger said.

Koger said running for president or vice president can be tiring, but it is still exciting, and people should not be intimidated.

“You get to meet so many individuals across campus that you probably hadn’t interacted with prior to running, which is very fun,” Koger said. “Even if you don’t think you are super-qualified, still put your name in the ring. Caring about the university is more than enough to be your first step.”

Krewson agrees there are no specific qualifications for hopeful candidates.

“To run for president, you only need to be a full-time student at K-State,” Krewson said. “Usually, people who run have an issue they are running on, to represent student voices.”

Krewson said it is not just the president who can make a difference on campus. This election will include positions in the Student Senate, the Board of Student Publications and the Union Governing Board.

Voting opens Feb. 22-23, and students will receive a message in Canvas to direct them to the voting page.

Those interested in running for any position can visit the SGA elections website for more information.