‘Your Voice Matters’ on Campus — SGA Elections, Sept. 9

“This is a very important time for our student body. Let your voice be heard.”

“It’s your duty as a Stetson student to not only have your voice heard for yourself, but also for your friends and everyone you meet on Stetson’s campus.”

“For some reason, we tend to make ourselves invisible. … We convince ourselves that our small participations have no effect on the world. Don’t think your vote doesn’t matter.”

Those comments could well be about the national presidential election in November. Instead, it’s about right here at home — voting on Wednesday, Sept. 9 in Stetson’s Student Government Association elections for the 2020-2021 school year.

The virtual voting is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. During that time, students can log into Engage and search for the election form, which will display only the races available for voting by that student. (For example, a student in the School of Business Administration who will graduate in 2022 can vote for the senator representing the business school, the senator representing the class of 2022, and the president and vice president.)

There are three candidate tickets running for president and vice president, plus 43 students are running for SGA’s 40 senate seats.

The presidential tickets include Joshua Finkelstein/Daniel Hendrick, Joe Francis/Connor Haugen and Hannah Weary/Aliya Cruise. 

The outgoing president is George Alderman ’21.

A virtual Town Hall is being held Sept. 8, 8-10 p.m., available on Engage, with the three president/vice president candidates participating in a question-and-answer format to discuss their backgrounds and views on issues.

Lischna Castor

The election usually is held during the preceding spring semester of a school year. That scheduled voting in April was postponed until now due to the pandemic. SGA extended the terms of those in office, according to Lischna Castor ’22, SGA senator and chair of the Elections Committee.

Candidates had to file by Aug. 26 and, if they met all the requirements, began campaigning a day later, including video commentary. 

Atop their campaign agendas: current events, such as the pandemic, social and political protests, and the national presidential election, along with campus initiatives.

“I definitely think there’s more interest, especially from the candidates because, seeing what is happening in today’s times, like outside of our school life, it’s crazy,” Castor said. “They want their time here at Stetson to be meaningful and the best experience that they can possibly make it for themselves and their fellow classmates. And so they really want to encourage [students] to go out there and vote for them and to put them in this leadership position — so they can make the change that they know students want to see.

“I definitely see that passion with this group of candidates, and it’s amazing to see it.”

Election results will be announced Wednesday night when SGA meets at 7:30 p.m. The results also will be sent out through social media.

“By the end of September,” Castor concluded, “everyone will be in office.”

-Michael Candelaria