MJ Student Senate

Executive Secretary Bailey Hendrickson addresses issues with the minutes at the March 23 Student Senate meeting in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom. Hendrickson is running to serve as the 99th Student Senate president.

With warmer weather and spring right around the corner, 99th Student Senate elections and campaigning are in full swing. Campaigning began for the 2021-22 school year positions March 22. Elections will now take place online through University emails March 29 through April 2.

Less than a week from elections, Student Senate has not released an official candidate list for who is running in this next election.

The latest information provided to The Missourian by the Senate shows one executive ticket — consisting of president, vice president, secretary and treasurer — running under the slogan of "Innovate." Bailey Hendrickson, who currently serves as secretary for the 98th Student Senate, is running for president. Sophomore Class President Hunter Grantham is running to replace Debrielle Patee-Merrill for vice president. He has been active on social media to promote his campaign. 

“Continuing to make changes around campus is important to me,” Grantham said. “We have made flyers, posters and go on Instagram to get our names out there.” 

Junior Class Representative Chloe Kallhoff and Sophomore Class Representative Jenna Lee-Johnson are also running on the "Innovate" ticket..

Kallhoff is running to replace Hendrickson as secretary and Lee-Johnson is running to replace senior Connor Thompson as treasurer. 

“We have a really heavy social media presence, so we are relying on that because we know it is the best way to reach students,” Hendrickson said. “We’ve made posters and are going to visit organizations with a PowerPoint as well.” 

Before running, students are required to go through an informational meeting outlining the campaign rules. 

Elections Commissioner Senior Sneha Ojha leads those meetings and goes over the positions they are applying for, qualifications, committees and more.

“We want to make sure they’re campaigning in the right way,” Ojha said. “You can’t be like ‘vote for me,’ you have to ask for people to go out and vote.”

Ojha said that people following campaign guidelines has never been a problem, but informing students on how to campaign correctly is a big factor in getting ready for an election. 

Students running for office in Student Senate must adhere to the guidelines of campaigning before elections begin. Freshman Class President Joshua Fyffe is running for sophomore class president and said that campaigning in this last election wasn’t easy, and he had to figure out how to reach out to his new peers in a new environment.

“I had to get creative to meet people,” Fyffe said. “My campaign team and I created a sandwich board poster for them to take turns wearing, and I borrowed a dog to walk around campus to get people's attention.”

Campaigning and voting will close at 5 p.m. April 2.

Students will be sent a link to their University emails, directing them to a page to vote on the positions available.

Students will be voting for their class representative, on-and off-campus representatives, and the executive board.

“Make sure you vote,” Ojha said. “I want people to care about this because it is so important. You need to pick people who best represent you and the student body.”

Picking people to represent the student body can greatly impact the outcome of decisions for students, like possible fees. These elections allow students to have their voices be heard and make changes to certain things at Northwest.

“We recently shared our view with the campus financial officers on how we believe it is the best way to increase the cost of tuition,” Fyffe said. “We are the bridge between the high-level positions at the school and the students.”

Election results will be announced at 7 p.m. April 6 at the full Senate meeting in the Union . 

“We truly are the voice of the students where it matters most, and I know I'd want a say in who's speaking on my behalf,” Fyffe said. “That's what voting is —  helping to choose who gets to be the voice of the students on the things that matter most.”

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