By: RYAN LOHMAN
For some students, spring break is a time not for parties or rest, but for planning political campaigns.
Election season at IU South Bend officially begins immediately after spring break, and this year all student government seats are open and waiting for candidates to apply.
The IU South Bend Student Government Association (SGA) is seeking candidates to run for president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and 12 senate seats. Although most students qualify to run, Director of Student Life and SGA advisor Scott Strittmatter said it takes a special kind of student to do the job.
“We’re looking for committed students who want to make a difference on campus,” he said. “You’ve got to genuinely want to help people to enjoy your time in student government.”
Strittmatter, who observes all of the student government meetings and guides SGA members through the sometimes complicated parliamentary procedures by which they are run, said although rewarding, student government positions come with heavy responsibility.
“Student government members are asked to join committees. They are responsible for allocating over half a million dollars. So the gravity of the position is significant,” he said.
Besides the ability to handle weight the financial responsibilities, Strittmatter said that one quality of an SGA member stands out above the rest.
“We’re looking for students who want to be the voice of the constituents,” he said.
Current SGA treasurer Peter Goldstein is the chair of the elections committee. He said there are a few other things to keep in mind before applying.
“You can start applying today. The application is on our website, but there are GPA requirements,” he said.
According to the SGA constitution, students applying to be put on the ballot for an executive or senate position must have a GPA of at least 2.5, averaging 2.5 each semester.
Those applying to run for the senate must have completed at least six credit hours at IUSB, 12 credits overall. The requirement for executives is higher – 12 credit hours at IUSB, 36 in total.
An undergraduate is expected to be enrolled in at least six credit hours. Graduate students can also run for student government. They must be enrolled in three credit hours or more.
Goldstein said applications must be printed and turned into the office of student life in the Student Activities Center room 201 before 5 p.m. on March 13.
After the application process is completed and students are added to the ballot, they can take a break. The SGA constitution bans any campaigning until after spring break, Goldstein said. But after that, the electioneering begins.
“When you have multiple tickets running or several people running for positions, the atmosphere on campus is really intense,” he said. “You have a lot of people trying to get votes, talking to people, informing people. We try to get as many people as possible. The more the merrier.”
For an application or more information about student government, go to https://www.iusb.edu/stu-gov.