NEWS

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October 5, 2001

SG holds elections for class reps

Student Government will hold elections for class representatives to the College Council next Monday through Wednesday. College students will be able to vote online and in the Reynolds Club for representatives to their half of the main Student Government (SG) legislative body, the SG Assembly.

“I think SG is a great way to be involved at the University, to improve things at the University, to have contact with fellow students, and to address your concerns at the University," said SG President Ben Aderson.

To be placed on the ballot, potential candidates must collect the signatures of 30 classmates on the petition available at sg.uchicago.edu/petition01.pdf. The petitions must be turned in to the SG office in the basement of the Reynolds Club by noon this Saturday.

Fewer than one fifth of registered College students have voted in previous SG elections, and upperclass seats are traditionally non-competitive. In fact, the representatives to the Graduate Council, the other half of the SG Assembly, are not necessarily elected at all but rather chosen by their various divisions.

Aderson and the rest of SG are counting on the rise in number of those wishing to run this year to pull in student voters. “A lot more people are going to be running this year than have ever run before," Aderson said. “We anticipate that all the races will be competitive."

The classes of 2005 and 2004 will each elect four representatives to the council, while 2003 and 2002 will elect three apiece, and there will be one student elected to represent transfers and any students not in the above categories.

Aderson also credits the current SG Executive Officers with attracting students to the elections. “There seems to be a lot more interest in Student Government because we are much more active than we have been in the past," Aderson said. “I think that will increase voter turnout because more people are running and more people are interested."

SG has already created complaints.uchicago.edu, a Web site allowing students to anonymously voice concerns about University issues, and later this year they plan to extend study hours at Crerar Library and provide course syllabi online.

In the past, students have complained that SG suffers from poor organizational structure and a lack of real power; as a result, significant time last year was spent deliberating internal matters. Aderson promises this year will be different. “We're focused this year," Aderson said. “Our priorities really are on addressing direct initiatives and projects and then student concerns, for that matter. We're not so much concerned about Student Government as about addressing issues."

Once elected, College Council members will select committees such as University Relations, Student Organizations, and Community Affairs to chair or co-chair. The fact that the committee chairs will be elected members of the Council is a change for SG, but committee membership is open to all students in the College.

The committees meet directly with University administrators. “They have a significant say in what goes on," Aderson said. “Committees are where work gets done in SG."

College students may vote online at sg.uchicago.edu beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, October 8, and ending at 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 10. Students can also vote at booths in the Reynolds Club from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.