Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced classes online, the Eastern Michigan University Student Government elections that usually take place in March have been postponed until late September. When election dates are announced, students will receive an email via their university email accounts with information on where and how to vote. The dates for the election have yet to be announced by the university’s Office of the President.
The candidates, who filed candidacy in March will appear on the upcoming Student Government ballot this month. Online voting will be handled by the University Information Technology Division (UITD) and will be accessible through the Student Government website.
Students may vote for up to 18 Senate candidates per ticket. The size of the senate changes yearly, based on the size of the student population. This year there are less than 18 candidates, however, so students may vote for as few or as many of the listed candidates as the choose. Students may only vote for one President and Vice President per ticket.
Candidates for Student Body President and Vice President, respectively are:
- Luis Romero and Colton Ray
- Jack Swartzinski and Allanah Morales
Candidates for Student Senate are:
- Jadan Shorts
- John Milkovich
- MaKayla Stevens
- Amanda Fox
- Tyler Kochman
- A’Rhyanna Tyus
- Tyler Wright
- Charis Bly
- Erin McCargar
- Luis Romero
- Marisa Salice
- Auryon Azar
The lists above were provided by the faculty advisor to the student government, Leigh Greden. However, when the Echo reached out to individual candidates it was discovered that both Marisa Salice and Jadan Shorts are no longer running for senate positions.
“Unfortunately, I removed my name from the Senate ballot for the 2020-2021 school year. Due to COVID-19, I had to sacrifice my involvement in Student Government to focus on extra jobs [and] internships. The Senate needs effective leadership now more than ever, and I don’t think I can bring that type of leadership when trying to balance multiple jobs and school,“ Salice told the Echo.
Due to candidates having fewer opportunities to campaign in person, the Office of the President will be creating a website where all candidates will have photos, descriptions of their backgrounds, as well as a platform as to why they are running for office. The aim of the website is to allow students to learn more about the candidates remotely in order to hold an informed decision as to vote for. This website link will be listed in the same email as the official announcement of election dates. It is not expected that a student body presidential debate, an event organized by university, will be held.
Typically, between 1000 to 3000 students vote during student government elections, depending on the year and number of candidates. COVID-19 may, however, impact student voter participation due to students being off of the university’s campus.
Student Government meetings have found their new meeting place to be the virtual platform Zoom. Anyone is allowed to attend student government meetings and meetings can hold up to 100 people, the maximum allowed by the platform.
As a result of the election schedule changing, the senate's first meeting will not be when it usually occurs in mid-September. However, the dates for meetings have yet to be determined. When dates are finalized, you may visit the Student Government website to join the meeting via Zoom.
Student government funding has not been affected due to the pandemic. The student government budget changes annually based on student enrollment. Despited the pandemic, any change in enrollment, however, proved insignificant. Student organizations may go to the student government website to learn how to request funding. Additionally, student legal services, offered free of charge to students at EMU, have continued to operate and are still funded by Student Government.