Free candy. Free cookies. The incessant “Which College Are You Ins.” The countless number of platform fliers pressed into your hand.
Regardless of what stands out the most for students about the insanity that is Auburn’s SGA campaign week, it’s safe to say most are familiar with it, if not exactly what it’s all about. It’s almost impossible not to be aware of the SGA executive officer and Miss Auburn election thanks to the sea of supporters in brightly-colored T-shirts that flood campus for the week. The election that typically remains under the radar, however, is the election of college senators… likely because most students aren’t even aware they have senators representing them in their college.
The Auburn University Student Senate is the legislative branch of the SGA. Senate meetings involve drafting and voting on legislation that affects the student life at Auburn University. Senators are either appointed by members of their college or, if there are more candidates interested in the position than are spots available, campaign for the position.
“SGA Senate is set up like the United States Senate,” says Jacie Coressel, senator for the College of Liberal Arts. “Instead of having senators for each state, we have senators for each college on campus. The number of senators per college is directly proportionate to the size of the college. So, for example, there are five Liberal Arts senators because the college is so large, whereas there is only one senator for the College of Forestry and Wildlife.”
Coressel sheds a positive light on campaigning.
“Campaigning for Senate was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done during my time at Auburn thus far,” Coressel says. “I ran on the ‘All-In’ Liberal Arts ticket with four other very strong candidates. The five of us became so close during the campaign because we worked tirelessly on it from November until the end of the campaign in February. It took a lot of effort and was very time consuming, but I’m so grateful to have been elected and wouldn’t trade anything about the overall experience.”
Coressel says the life of a senator has its perks but also many responsibilities.
“I am responsible for reaching out to my constituents (Liberal Arts students) and keeping them updated about what goes on within Senate, as well as informing them of upcoming opportunities,” she says. “Each week I am required to work three office hours in the SGA Office (Student Center room 2370). During this time, students may visit me and voice any concerns or suggestions they may have.”
Want provisional status for your campus club? Ask a senator. Hope the senator writes a bill. Hope the other senators vote on and pass the bill.
Senate meetings are open to all students and faculty and are held Monday at 7:30 pm in the Student Center, Room 2222.
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My roommate ran for Miss Auburn at the same time her boyfriend ran for SGA president. And her campaign manager and I had the same first name. Chaos and confusion reigned. Ah, good times.