With all-university elections just over a week away, NYU’s Elections Commission has issued a number of new guidelines to ensure a fair, democratic and equitable election season.
Campaigning begins March 25 for a variety of open positions from School Senators to Presidents and Senators at-Large. Elections will take place from April 1-5 for most representative councils of Student Government Assembly. Students will be able to vote for their representatives on a portal using their NYU email address.
Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Marc Wais sent out a university-wide email last week encouraging the student body to get involved.
“I strongly encourage all students to get involved — whether by running for office or by voting for the student representatives that best embody the things that matter to you,” Wais said in a statement to WSN.
Senator-at-large and head of the elections commission Edin Thornton told the SGA body that student voter turnout has been low. WSN spoke to a number of students that were unaware that NYU had a student government and were unable to name any resolutions passed by the body.
Thornton encouraged SGA candidates in February to avoid smear campaigning — a trend that the Elections Commission says once existed within the body.
“This is not the [United States] Senate; we don’t need to be out here at that level,” Thornton said to members of the SGA.
This year, SGA members are not allowed to endorse other senators. Steinhardt Graduate President Nate Faust spoke at a February SGA meeting about his past experiences with endorsements.
“With my experience in the past, endorsements can get nasty, real messy, real quick,” Faust said.
The commission placed a finance cap of $25 for all individual campaign spending. Candidates must submit their receipts to the commission at the end of the season. Thornton also discouraged possible candidates from buying promotional t-shirts, buttons and Facebook ads.
In a statement to WSN, the Elections Commission said they hope the new guidelines streamline the elections process.
“We look forward to a diverse field of candidates and executing seamless elections to build a foundation of solid work for the coming representative student councils,” the commission said.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Mar. 25th, 2019, print edition. Email Jared Peraglia at [email protected]