Student Senate Election on Horizon

Machmud Makhmudov, Contributing Writer

I’m excited to announce that Student Senate will be holding our spring election next week! A total of six seats will be open for competition, which represent 40 percent of the total body of 15 senators. Nominations will be accepted until 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.  If you’d like to nominate yourself or a friend, please send an email stating so to [email protected] and [email protected].

We anticipate that the election will begin on Feb. 10. Per recently renewed senate bylaws, the election will run for a minimum of five days. If a quorum of 20 percent of the student body — approximately 580 students — has not been met after the five-day period, the election will be extended until quorum is met.

Unfortunately, only a small proportion of the student body typically votes in Student Senate elections. Quorum is usually only barely reached, with voter turnout fluctuating between 600 and 800 voters. One unintended side effect of this relative voter apathy is that our student government is sometimes disconnected from the issues affecting the entire campus.

Everybody has a stake in Oberlin’s campus community, whether you’re a Conservatory student, program house resident, co-oper or athlete, and so I hope that everybody who may not have the time to run as candidate at the very least makes sure to vote. Alongside every name on the ballot will be a short statement written by the candidate outlining their platforms. I encourage everybody to read through these statements and consider candidates that place a strong emphasis on having a clear agenda and working together with a variety of groups on campus.

Thank you in advance to all of the candidates for demonstrating their commitment to public service and moving Oberlin forward. The open and lively exchange of ideas that occurs over the next week will hopefully provide ample momentum for a productive semester on Senate. To all the candidates, good luck! To the rest of the student body, don’t forget to vote!