On Tuesday, the Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Student Government held a special election to fill 20 vacant seats on the senate.
Although the typical Student Government election is held in the spring, due to the COVID pandemic and decreased on campus engagement, there was a low turnout for candidates as well as voters.
The spring election left roughly 2/3rds of the senate seats open going into the 2021-2022 school year, creating a need for the seats to be filled. Exactly 298 students participated in the spring election that chose this year’s Student Government President and Vice President, among several senators.
In the election held on Tuesday, there were 477 students who cast their vote for the student leaders, filling 19 of the senate seats.
While this was a steep increase in voter turnout, the voters make up roughly 3 percent of the student population.
At the first meeting with the full senate, the new senators were sworn into their positions.
At that meeting, President Reauna Stuff expressed the amount of work that went into the special election.
“I’d like to thank the elections commission for running the smoothest last minute election,” said Stiff, “as you can see by the full table, it was a huge success.”
During the first meeting, several new senators spoke up with questions for the various speakers and presenters that spoke in front of the Student Government.
“One thing I was thrown about today,” said Vice President Kara Svercl, “We had brand new senators who have never stepped into this room before asking question after question. And that can be difficult for returning senators.”
Newly elected senators are coming to the table with fresh and new ideas to advocate for the student body.
Abi Saha, the newly elected Off-campus senator is excited to represent Greek Life and bring a fresh perspective to the senate.
“I personally identify as bisexual,” said Saha about the perspective they aim to bring to the table, “so a voice from that that meshed with a voice from Greek Life as well.”
One of the two students elected to the Allied Health and Nursing College senator position, Namita Basnet got involved with hopes to give back to the University.
“I am a nursing student,” said Basnet, “and I really wanted to do something for this University.”
There are still three vacancies on the Student Government that will be filled in as the semester continues.