The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Five vacant A.S. Senate seats to be filled in Wednesday’s election

CSUN’s A.S. Senate currently has nine vacant seats.

“We don’t have our full number of senators,” said Dan Monteleone, A.S. Senate assistant director of elections. “Our student body is currently represented by 15 senators.”

The Senate is composed of 26 voting members, two elected from each of the eight colleges, four at-large students, two lower- and upper-division students, two graduate students, the vice president and the president, who serves as chair.

The at-large student category was removed last semester, Monteleone said.

The current at-large student senators will finish their terms and no other student will be able to run for that position.

The A.S. Senate elections Tuesday and today will determine how many of the nine vacant seats will be filled.

At the close of the election, there will still be three empty seats, Monteleone said. There are five seats up for election in the Senate with five candidates running.

The empty seats could mean that students did not want to run for the positions, Monteleone said.

Brenda Lacy, A.S. government secretary, said  some of the senators had to drop out in the beginning of the semester due to their inability to meet the A.S. Senate schedule of meetings on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. because of class or work conflicts.

“If they don’t apply, we can’t force students to join the Senate,” Lacy said.

All the senators represent the entire university and student body, not specific students or colleges, Lacy said.

“The Senate hasn’t really seen any uptake from the student body because there are too few senators representing them,” Monteleone said.

Vacant seats are common for every term, although the number of vacant seats will vary from term to term, Monteleone said.

“One advantage to having empty seats even halfway through a term or a semester is if a student really wants to express their voice or opinion, they can fill that empty seat,” Monteleone said.

The process of getting a name on the ballot entails interested students filling out an application at the A.S. office and answering questions about why they want to run, what changes they will bring to the campus and what they believe the biggest issue is for the students. The student’s GPA must be 2.5 or higher.

The A.S. Senate members advertise the empty seats for the November election a few times a week to encourage students to run for their respective college seats or other vacant seats, Monteleone said.

Conor Lansdale, A.S. president, will only become involved in the election process if the seats do not get filled.

“Because the Senate represents the student body, the more senators there are, the more students are able to contribute their voices to certain issues on campus,” Monteleone said. “Every senator we get will be an additional voice for the student body.”

Monteleone said if the president feels there is a student who is qualified to fill the position, they are allowed to take over a vacant seat even halfway through the semester.

“Nobody is really left behind,” Lacy said. “It would just be better if there are more student senators because that means that more of the student body on campus is covered. Now, the current student senators are working overtime.”

The year-long terms start in either the spring or fall, said Raunika Nayyar, A.S. Senate director of elections. There will be another set of elections in the spring for the spring semester, she added.

There are even-numbered and odd-numbered seats in the Senate, Nayyar said. The elections Tuesday and today are for the even-numbered seats.

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