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‘It’s important to vote’: Students called on to cast ballots in SGA elections

March 25, 2021

As NIU’s spring election season heads toward the virtual voting booth next week, Student Government Association leaders are encouraging Huskies to engage in the democratic process.

Students can vote on Huskie Link on Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31. There’s still time to get to know the Huskies running for SGA, with an Executive Branch Candidate Debate at the Holmes Student Center’s Carl Sandburg Auditorium from 6-8 p.m. today. The in-person event is limited to 50 people, and will stream online as well for all Huskies to access.

Also, Candidate Meet-and-Greets are set for in-person at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 29 in the OASIS space on the HSC’s first floor, and virtually at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30 via Zoom.

“Student government is one of the most significant outlets students have to take their concerns directly to university administration,” said SGA Election Commissioner Cassandra Kamp, a senior planning to graduate in December with a degree in psychology and rehabilitation and disability services. “And it’s important to vote because you want leaders in SGA who care about building that rapport for the student body.”

Huskies interested in SGA involvement still have an opportunity to run for several remaining vacancies on the SGA’s Senate, as well as the Executive Leadership position of Treasurer. Registration forms and further information for a special election, which will be held yet this semester after next week’s vote, can be found on the homepage of Huskie Link.

SGA Board of Elections Chair Michael Verlinsky, also a senior, said he and Kamp are collaborating on drafted updates to the SGA’s bylaws to finalize this special election, an event which traditionally has taken place as a one-day contest the week after a regular election.

“It’s a simpler process, but it’s also a much more condensed process,” said Verlinsky, an accounting major. “The special election is mostly for those who missed the original deadline. We did have candidates who tried to apply but got some of their materials in late, so we’re expecting more students to want to get involved.”

SGA Senate Speaker Brad Beyer — who led a recent reorganization of NIU’s Senate model to be more representative of the diverse constituencies of Huskies it serves — says the number of candidates already running in the election is nearly equivalent to last year’s totals.

“If I can just speak to Michael and Cassandra’s work this year — even though we’re in a pandemic and engagement across campus has been down — the number of candidates they have running this spring is quite an accomplishment,” said Beyer, a senior economics major.

Student government leadership is continuing to build on the positive momentum of Beyer’s work — Kamp says a project is ongoing to similarly restructure additional leadership roles in the SGA.

Learn more about the SGA and elections on Huskie Link, or email [email protected].