Half the senate seats in need of candidates

AS senate seats are left vacant after campaign week.


Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Anna Frost, Writer

Associated Students leadership has no plans to change the senator election process, despite the lack of candidates for 53 percent of the seats. However, AS is optimistic about finding senators after the elections.


“This isn’t totally out of the blue … We always have a handful of positions open. So it’s disappointing, I wish that more people would want to run,” said AS advisor Laura Igram-Edwards.


Last year’s elections finished with six of the 11 positions unfilled, one less than this year. However, it is valuable to preserve the democratic process that allows students to choose their representatives, said AS senior vice president and junior communication studies major Becky Gallacher.

“It is the best way to stick to a traditional student government so that all of the student body can have their voice represented in choosing their senator because we want to represent the majority and the minorities as much as possible,” Gallacher said.

The current campaign format also provides more opportunity for those outside of AS to get involved, which allows the organization to branch out and empower the student body, Gallacher said.

Once the elections end, the vice president elect will begin managing a hiring process to fill the vacant seats. The senators will be chosen solely by AS instead of the student body since, unlike the candidates, applicants are not required to collect student signatures, said AS office manager and senior psychology and intercultural studies major Kylie Tyndall.


A committee revised the AS constitution to require senator candidates running unopposed to gather signatures from 20 percent of the dorm they wish to represent, which ensures that those elected are not just given the seat without the support of the constituency, Tyndall said. However, the hiring process remains the same.

The hiring process tends to attract plenty of students to fill the unoccupied seats, Igram-Edwards said. Between 30 to 40 people applied for the senator positions post-election last year.

Gallacher attributed this rush to people who might be intimidated by running a public campaign.

“People are then sometimes more likely to be interviewed rather than campaigning because campaigning, to be honest, is kind of scary for some people and they’d rather just try and interview instead,” Gallacher said.

Igram-Edwards noted a lot of students are still uninformed about the senator position, its function in relation to the Biola community or even how to run. While AS is working to improve public relations and its communication with the student body, the students play a part in the information process too, Tyndall said.

“I watch our marketing department be so concerned about students getting information … I think, as much as I want to take it upon myself because I know I can control, ‘Oh, we’ll just do more,’ I think a lot of it too is people just willing to take that next step to find out more information,” Tyndall said.

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