Thursday, May 30, 2024

Student Association to hold annual elections

The Plattsburgh State Student Association will hold their annual election Nov. 10.

In preparation, the SA will accept petitions from students who wish to run for senator, vice president, executive vice president or president.

“If you want to be on the ballot, you have to have a petition filled out,” SA President Kevin Clayton said.

He said necessary information for the petition has two parts.

Clayton said someone in the administration will check candidates’ grades to ensure they meet the minimum GPA requirement of 2.3. He said grade-point averages are kept confidential.

“You have to get a certain number of (student) signatures in order to be listed on the ballot,” Clayton said. “That way, we know you’re not running for a public, elected position, but you’re not willing to go out and at least talk to people.”

He said the number of required signatures varies, depending on the position. For a Senate candidate, 50 signatures are required. For a vice-presidential candidate, 100 signatures are required and those who run for president can expect to get 150 signatures from his or her fellow students.

Students who sign petitions must sign their name and write down their student username. For example, John Smith might have a student username of jsmit001.

“That is not saying they will necessarily vote for you,” Clayton said. “That is just saying that ‘As a student, I feel you should be allowed to run.’”

Petitions are due back to the SA office Oct. 28. At that point, the student Board of Elections validate each petition’s validity, checking each signature to make sure those who signed the petitions were current PSUC students.

“You actually have to go out and talk to students and get them to endorse your candidacy to one degree or another,” Clayton said.

Clayton said names and usernames on the petitions must be accurate and the petitions must be turned in by the deadline in order for students to be on the ballot. He said students have been disqualified in the past for not having enough accurate names or usernames on the ballot.

“It’s recommended you go out and get however many you need, plus some, just in case someone accidentally screws up, and it’s indecipherable,” he said.

He also said each student can spend up to $100 of their own money to buy materials to further his or her campaign. Whether a student spends $100 or he or she spends nothing, there is a financial form that must be submitted in order for each student to be on the ballot. If he or she does not submit this form, he or she will be disqualified. The form, along with the deadline, is included with the petition. When it is all filled out, candidates can submit the petition to SA Executive Secretary Melanie Wyand.

Clayton said his time in the Student Association has helped him to grow.

“Not this past summer, but the year before, I was executive vice president at the time. I did an internship for my local councilman, and it was awful,” Clayton said.

He said his internship largely consisted of answering phones and mailing to an entire ZIP code, and he would meet with his supervisor every two days.

“It really drove home the point that what you can get at Student Association is something you can’t get anywhere else at our level,” Clayton said. “As executive vice president, I was running office, managing paid staff and acting as chief of staff for around 20 other people.”

Clayton said that being in SA is a good way to make a difference in the PSUC campus.

SA Chief Justice Adam Saccardi, who supervises the student court, said serving the SA has been a “unique and rewarding experience.”

“I’ve been asked to do a lot of different things,” Saccardi said. “I’ve been chief justice, chairman of the Board of Elections and senator.”

He said this experience has not only helped him with his interpersonal skills, but it has helped him understand the importance of doing things that benefit the SA and, in turn, the student body.

“Students should run because it is a unique opportunity that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, to be able to hold the position to better the student body as a whole, to serve your campus, and also, it’s a unique opportunity to be part of an organization like this that provides you with a lot of real world-esque experience,” he said.

SA Senator Vanessa Arroyo said this is her second legislation as senator.

“I think a lot of different qualities could definitely be essential to creating a really effective Senate,” Arroyo said.

She said that every year, the SA changes, and the new legislation may bring different things to the table.

“The campus has a different vibe this year, and it’s more lively,” Arroyo said. “Therefore, I’m hoping that (what) they do bring is amazing.”

Email Tim Lyman at

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