Approximately 30 freshmen showed up to the mandatory information session for all possible first-year senator candidates. As of the meeting’s end, that group is officially in campaign mode until first-year elections, which take place on Sept. 8 and 9 at smu.edu/elections.
Tonight’s session covered election basics: when and where freshmen will vote, rules for campaigning and forms candidates need to turn in.
“Make sure you read the election code,” Senate Membership Chair Roza Essaw told the freshmen. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”
Essaw did not discuss all of the guidelines, choosing to focus on a few main points:
- Candidates can’t run in a coalition. Senators are run as individuals, “although you can endorse someone verbally,” according to Essaw.
- Candidates can’t campaign in residence halls.
- Candidates can’t campaign through a third party (for example, if you work in the SAMSA office, you can’t campaign while sitting at work).
- Candidates are responsible for the people who are campaigning on their behalf.
- Candidates have a $50 spending limit.
Candidates found to have broken the rules can be disqualified from the race. Essaw cautioned the first-years of this and warned them that people will file complaints of campaign violations.
There are five open seats for first-year senators. Those seats will be filled by the five candidates with the most votes.