Student Senate campaigning commences

Student Senate is having its elections to select candidates for the upcoming semester. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Sophia Tejeda | Staff Writer

Student Senate campaigns have commenced for this spring. The campaigning process requires candidates to fill out the student government filing form and attend a mandatory candidate meeting before engaging with the student body.

Grand Prairie junior Zoey Johnson serves as electoral commissioner for student government, which entails overseeing all student body elections, familiarizing herself with the electoral code and working with the associate director of the Department of Student Activities, Tanner Vickers, in overseeing the bylaws the Senate wishes to pass.

“Candidates fill out the student government filing form,” Johnson said. “This is the initial step into the entire campaigning process, [which contains information] like name, classification and intended position. All candidates attend a mandatory meeting that [addresses] the electoral code and what [they] can or cannot do … A week after this meeting, campaigning will begin, and a week after that, elections will begin.”

Johnson said she hopes students utilize this opportunity of working in Senate in synergy to better campus and the student body while upholding the values of Baylor.

“Working as a senator means [they] can work with Senate as a team,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Senate looks for candidates who value collaboration, responsibility and ethics. She said she also recommends utilizing social media beyond the normal distribution of flyers and promotion through billboards.

“During passing periods, most people are looking at their phones,” Johnson said. “Promoting through Instagram, GroupMe or text are great ways to campaign.”

Interested candidates should understand the commitment of student government and work proactively in service of the student body and the community, Vickers said in an email.

“Senate needs more than your personal agenda,” Vickers said. “It needs your deference for service. It needs student leaders who can collaborate, listen and assiduously pursue outcomes that serve the university and the student body.”

Further, Vickers said campaigning focuses on building a relationship between candidates and the student body.

“Candidates must abide by the thorough guidelines discussed in the Electoral Code,” Vickers said. “However, I think more deeply, campaigning involves garnering the votes of one’s student peers by earning their trust that you will advocate for their voice with care and conviction. As a leader at Baylor and a voice for the student body, candidates must demonstrate to their peers that they’ll uphold the values of the university, serve well and create progress in important areas of campus life. Candidates may choose to earn this trust by speaking at organization meetings, placing signs on campus, listening to the input of fellow students and marketing to their constituents.”

In advice for candidates, Johnson said that she recommends having fun while campaigning and that she encourages students to apply for another position if not elected this semester.

Vickers said he looks forward to a newly elected legislative body that continues to work in Christ’s example in compliance with the Electoral Code.

“I believe future legislative sessions will build upon the foundation formed by past leaders to diligently partner with the university, participate in critical dialogues, thoughtfully engage challenges, live out Christlike leadership and strengthen the student experience by manifesting the mission of Baylor,” Vickers said.

Understanding the campaigning process and what characteristics make a good senator helps prepare the student body to cast educated votes during elections.