Campaigning for the Student Government Association elections starts Sunday, with at least 25 candidates seeking a position. The election committee conducted two information sessions on each campus March 10 to inform candidates of the campaign and election rules and procedures.
Ten candidates in Edinburg and at least 16 in Brownsville attended the sessions.
In the meetings, SGA co- advisers Cindy Mata, director of Student Activities, and Delma Olivarez, interim associate dean for Student Involvement and director of Leadership and Mentoring, explained the guidelines established by the election committee of which they are both part.
Mata said the committee establishes the guidelines and oversees the election to make sure everything is fair and runs smoothly.
In addition to Mata and Olivarez, the election committee is composed of one student representative from Brownsville and one from Edinburg, as well as Assistant Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities David Marquez.
The election, which will start at 8 a.m. April 5 and end at midnight April 7, will be conducted via the MyUTRGV website.
“When a student logs in and uses their credentials, the ballot that is assigned to them will automatically be what they have available to take,” Olivarez said.
Students, however, will only be able to vote for certain candidates depending on their corresponding campus and college.
“In the election guidelines there are specifications for which students vote for which positions,” Olivarez said. “Your ballot and another college’s will look different from mine, but we will all have the opportunity to vote for the same executive tickets.”
An executive ticket consists of the candidates for president and a vice president from each campus.
Outgoing SGA President Alberto Adame emphasized the importance of these elections.
“What I’m most excited about is that … we’re going to have a campaign that is based on actual results and actual accountability of what my administration [did],” Adame said. “Now we’re going to have candidates that are going to be running their campaigns with more knowledge about the [Student Government] Association and of what students all across the Valley want and need.”
Adame said he will only get involved by promoting the elections so people know that student government is here for them.
Among the candidates is Ernesto Farías, a freshman political science major running for senator-at-large for the Brownsville campus.
“I’ve been with the First Year Internship program in SGA, and I have seen the hard work that the senators and that the executive branch does in the school,” Farias said. “I would like to be part of it and help the student community in the university.”
Denisse Molina, vice president for the Brownsville campus and candidate for president, also highlighted the key role that student voters play in the school.
“In the end, these people will be representing you throughout the entire year. [It’s] very important because they are shaping our university … in a better way,” Molina said.
Molina said she is running for office because there is still a lot of work to be done.
“This past year I got the opportunity to serve as the vice president for the Brownsville campus,” she said. “I noticed there is still a lot of work to be done in our university, so that really motivated me to continue doing what I have been doing this year.”
The SGA is there to help, Olivarez said.
“I would like [students] to know that student government is the voice of the student body,” she said. “If they have concerns or suggestions, members of SGA can partner with them to help address these concerns.”