SA elections approaching as USAEC utilizes Knighlink

The Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee will facilitate campus-wide elections over the next five weeks to fill class officer positions as well as Student Association executive board positions.

“USAEC is the standing committee of the Student Association which oversees all class elections and elections of the SA Executive Committee,” said junior Steve Fisher, USAEC chair.

USAEC supervises all parts of the election process from start to finish, including producing ballots, publicizing elections and campaign events, hosting and facilitating debates and speeches, expediting elections, counting votes and publishing results.

For the upcoming spring 2012 elections,USAEC scheduled six separate informational meetings from Monday Feb. 20 until Thursday Feb. 23 for interested parties wishing to run for office. These general information meetings allowed potential candidates to ask USAEC questions, familiarize themselves with the campaign and election processes and to get the paperwork necessary for entering the election.

USAEC has also released a series of deadlines for the election process, which can be viewed on their website. The official campaign will begin on March 3 and polls will open to the student body for voting on KnightLink on March 23.

Unofficial results for the elections will tentatively be posted on the door of the SA office on March 26. Barring any grievances, the results will become official on March 27.

“Something unique about this year’s elections is that they will be hosted over KnightLink rather than KnightWeb,” said Fisher. “KnightLink is like a college social network – it will allow us to be in the face of voters. It is much more convenient and will provide for greater flexibility for USAEC and voters. The system onKnightLink also has a much more sophisticated format than KnightWeb.”

Instead of the online ballots listing the candidates’ names, KnightLink will allow USAEC to categorize the candidates on the ballot based on the office for which they are running.USAEC will also be able to attach a picture of the candidate along with a short personal statement. This will make the candidates accessible for student voters that are unable to attend any speeches or debates.

“USAEC is hoping that this change toKnightLink will result in increased voter participation,” added Fisher.

USAEC is also hoping to increase voter participation through greater publicity of campaign events, debates, speeches and elections. This publicity will take the form of What’s-Up emails, window paintings in the Union and Facebook event notifications.

Senior Lindsey Hebell, SA public relations chair, will assist in the effort to publicize throughout the process.

“Anybody who is interested in running for office is encouraged to apply and get their name on the ballot as a candidate,” said Fisher. All candidate paperwork is due to the SA office by 4 p.m. on Monday Feb. 27.

Interested parties considering running for office can email USAEC with any questions about the campaign and election processes at