SG faces lack of Senators

Julia Croston, Government Reporter

Student Government (SG) once again is struggling to fill open Senate seats for the Spring semester. Simply, not enough students are interested in being appointed. With the recent uncontested election, SG hopes to maximize student involvement in the Senate moving forward. 

Spinnaker met with Senate President Joshua Murry and Senate President Pro Tempore A.J. Likosar to discuss the Senate appointment process. Currently, SG is accepting applications to be appointed to the Senate for the Spring semester. If the Senate seats are not filled, they will remain open until the spring election. 

Ideally, interested students will go through the appointment process before the end of the Fall semester to have a full term in the Spring. Appointed Senators only serve for one semester and must run in a future election to continue for future terms. 

At the time of writing, there are 12 seats open. Eight seats for Spring are already filled with 19 aspiring Senators soon to be validated. In total, there will be 27 seats filled by the beginning of Spring. SG remains hopeful that the 13 leftover seats from the uncontested election will be filled by the end of Fall. 

Appointments are an equally effective alternative to the election process as another way for students to join SG. The election process is preferred, but appointments tend to create more passionate Senators because they have to take initiative in order to apply through the strenuous process. 

“[The process] helps produce some, well honestly, great Senators. Both myself and Pro Tempore Likosar came through this process and I believe that it personally really helped me understand how the Senate worked,” Murry explained. 

The appointment process helps aspiring Senators gain familiarity with SG and learn important documentation before joining the Senate. 

Likosar added how “We love the elections process, but there’s not necessarily any requirement to have any knowledge going in, although that’s what we would like. . .” 

Murray and Likosar both agree that joining the Senate is the best way to get involved at UNF. Senators get to gain experience by working with both the Executive and Judicial branches. 

“The Legislative Branch is truly the most influential branch of Student Government. We have so much say over what is funded, what kinds of initiatives, what kind of events students want to see. So if people are interested in Student Government, Senate is always the first thing I recommend,” Likosar explained. 

The decisions of the Senators have power to create change on campus while prioritizing serving students. 

“If you’re joining Student Government for any other reason than to serve the students, it’s probably a bad reason to join. This gives them the full gambit of serving students and being held accountable to them consistently,” Likosar specified. 

Senators are also able to join university-wide committees to represent students. The Senators provide the perspective of students to help administration and faculty make important decisions. 

The application process begins with a declaration of intent at a Senate meeting coupled with the completion of an application form. After, the applicant must survey 30 students as an endorsement; providing student interaction and feedback. Then, the aspiring student will write a short essay explaining why they want to be a Senator. An interview will occur at a Rules and Oversight committee meeting before the final interview at Senate. 

For questions about the Senate appointment application, email [email protected]


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