The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

MCSG executive elections move online

By Amy Ledig

Student government elections for executive positions will be making the jump from paper to online balloting. Next week’s executive elections are moving to the Internet in order to be more widely accessible, MCSG Vice President Owen Truesdell ’11 said.Rudy Herrera Mármol ’10 and Eric Engstrom ’11 are running for president, while Nkayo Drepaul ’11 and Karen Maeda ’12 square off for the vice presidency. Peter Truax ’10, Besjona Kreka ’10 and Laura Bartolomei-Hill ’10 are up for Financial Affairs Committee chair. The race for Academic Affairs chair is another three-way, with Aaron Brown ’10, Michael Freedman ’11 and Mo Liu ’12 running. Katie Agnew ’11 and Hank Coshnear ’12 are running for Program Board chair.

Jackie Hoong ’12 is the only remaining candidate for Student Services chair, but under MCSG election bylaws, she still needs to get 20 votes to be elected to the position.

All but one of the positions – Student Services Commission chair – are contested, and Truesdell said the candidates are a “nice mix of MCSG and brand new people.”

“There’s somebody for every position who’s been involved and someone who hasn’t,” he said.

Voting will take place through Google Applications. An email will be sent to the student body allowing them to cast their votes through a Google Documents spreadsheet form, as happened when MCSG allowed students to vote on whether or not to pay to bring Howard Dean to campus. Voting will be open from Monday morning until noon on Wednesday, a change from the traditional set up where students vote in the basement of the Campus Center from eight a.m. to eight p.m.

“Google Apps lets us do it really well,” Truesdell said of the change.

Truesdell said the change will make life easier for MCSG members, who will no longer have to take shifts to table on election day, and will also require less paper. “We’ll see how it works,” he said.

The change will make it easier for students studying off campus easier to vote as well. In the past, Truesdell said, students studying abroad had to remember elections and send an email to the MCSG vice president, who organizes the elections. The new system will make the process more accessible.

The ballot will now also include a statement by each candidate as well as photos, potentially.

“We won’t have any entirely uneducated voters,” Truesdell said.

The switch will not go into effect for Legislative Body class representative elections this year because the administration only has email lists for the first year and senior classes, not for the ones in between. Truesdell said that Dean of Students Jim Hoppe is working on changing this for future years so that online voting can be used for these elections as well.

“It’s kind of an experiment, we’ll see where it goes,” Truesdell said of online voting’s rollout for executive elections.

Class representative elections are also rapidly approaching, and changes are on the way there as well. Filing for candidacy takes place from today through next Friday for students looking to run for one of the five positions for each class. Elections will follow on April 20.

The change is that students who will be studying abroad are now able to run for class representative. Ideally, Truesdell said, if someone will be studying abroad but wants to serve, they would find someone who is studying abroad the opposite semester to facilitate the process. During the organizational breakout session, candidates will be paired with each other and will run as a ticket, with each serving the semester they are on campus.

If a student who is elected on the ticket for whatever reason is on campus the entire year, they will still only serve their one semester. “They’re elected for one term each, that’s it,” Truesdell said.

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