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April 11, 2017

Only One Slate Files for SG's Top Offices

The members of the Rise slate will head Student Government (SG) next year, barring a successful write-in campaign or procedural problems. The slate, which consists of third-year Calvin Cottrell for president, second-year Sabine Nau for vice president for administration, and third-year Chase Harrison for vice president for student affairs, filed their petition for candidacy by the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday. They were the only slate to do so.

Provided at least 300 of the signatures on their petition can be verified as eligible voters, and they attend a mandatory candidate’s meeting Thursday, their names will appear alone on the ballot in the race for Executive Slate.

This means only two elections this spring—for undergraduate liaison to the board of trustees and to represent the Class of 2020 on College Council—will feature more candidates on the ballot than there are positions available.

Candidates running under the banner of United Progress have won contested elections each of the last three years, though the 2014 slate was opposed only by one satirical slate, the Moose Party, whose candidates are members of the Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternity.

This year, however, not even the Moose Party is running, ending a 23-year tradition. DU President Stephen Moreland did not respond to request for comment on Moose’s absence from the slate.

Cottrell, Harrison, and Nau decided to run because they believe Student Government has been unsuccessful in recent years. “The Rise slate formed because the three of us saw that SG was not working,” Cottrell told The Maroon in an e-mail. “We saw ways that SG could be more effective in supporting student aspirations. SG has an image problem of dealing with issues outside its scope while being ineffective on addressing pressing student concerns.”

Current president and member of the United Progress slate, third-year Eric Holmberg, is graduating at the end of fall quarter and is therefore ineligible to run for re-election. He believes that interest in running for an executive slate position may have declined due to increasing interest in study abroad programs or early graduation, which preclude students from running for Executive Slate.

Cottrell speculated that fewer students are running due to a decline in Student Government’s reputation. “The popular view of SG is that it is ineffective and that campaigns get nasty,” he explained. He added that early support for Rise might have discouraged students from running as well.

Write-in candidates can run for any position, though they would not have access to the money available to reimburse campaigning costs and pay for printing, which totals $350 for Executive Slate candidates. According to the head of SG’s Election and Rules Committee (E&R) Max Freedman, the E&R will need to vote to determine whether write-in candidates would be able to participate in the debates the committee organizes.

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