UISG hopefuls begin to stir


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It’s that time of year again — University of Iowa students hoping to land a spot in next year’s Student Government are starting to think about their campaign plans.

More than 40 UI undergraduates attended Thursday’s mandatory informational meeting in the IMU about the UISG election process, kicking off the start of election season.

Student government officials will hold meetings and debates throughout March. Campaigning officially begins on March 28, voting will begin on April 5 on ISIS.

Charlotte Dutcher, who attended the meeting, said she’s looking to campaign for a UISG senator seat this year.

The UI freshman said she thinks this year’s UISG hasn’t done enough to communicate with students to let them know what they’re doing.

“I’d like to be a senator, it’s a good opportunity to make change happen on campus,” Dutcher added.

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Every year, around 40 to 60 students run for senator positions, said Gordon Sonnenschein, the director of the Student Elections Board. Students will only be ale to elect 40 senators, but all who run will likely end up serving because it is common for a few to drop out for various reasons every year, he said.

“Once they turn in their petitions, I’ll know who is actually serious about running and who is actually going to be placed on the ballot,” Sonnenschein said.

The UI senior said he has heard rumors through the Senate of who is planning to run for president and vice president, but he couldn’t divulge any names. Initially, he said, he knew of two parties. Now there is only one.

If this is the case, it will be the same as last year’s campaign, in which only the “Golden Ticket” party appeared on the ballot and current UISG President John Rigby and Vice President Erica Hayes ran unopposed.

Rigby said he plans to stay pretty “hands-off” throughout the election process, but said UISG is doing a lot to increase awareness of the organization around campus.

Last year, slightly more than 9 percent of undergraduate students voted in the election.

UISG will also set up information tables at the IMU and residence halls to get the word out about the election and the organization themselves, Rigby said.

“The energy is a lot higher when you have an opponent,” he said. “Enthusiasm is much easier to get, and you know you kind of have to be on top of your game.”

The election is more legitimate when more than one party appears on the ballot, he added.
UISG will work to increase its social media use throughout the election by making information more “Facebook friendly,” he said.

New candidates had a strong showing at Thursdays meeting. Approximately 30 new people expressed interest in becoming a UISG candidate.

“I’d like to think that just a student who really doesn’t know very many people and isn’t very much involved in anything else, I’d like to think that they can represent the university if they want,” Sonnenschein said.

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