In the election for the 101th session of Student Senate, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) is the only college that has more candidates running than seats to fill, with nine prospective senators competing for seven seats.
According to Tiara Caldwell, a second-year studying sociology, the Student Senate is vital in giving NC State students an opportunity to speak with people in power and address issues they may be having.
“I want my peers to be able to talk to me about whatever it is that they are concerned about on campus, whether it’s safety or academics,” Caldwell said. “I want to be able to represent them on a larger scale and actually have an impact on how people enjoy the culture of NC State.”
Although CHASS is the second largest college at NC State, following the College of Engineering, Riley Edmonson, a second-year studying political science, thinks the CHASS election is more likely to be competitive, due to the political science department and students.
“It's just the nature of the beast, especially with the political science majors — that’s what we’re all studying is politics and elections and campaigns,” Edmonson said. “It’s something we’re very interested in and want to pursue.”
Katie Phillips, a first-year studying political science, is running for Student Senate for the first time, having previously served as a proxy. Like Edmonson, Phillips expected CHASS to have the most competition because of the nature of the college, the current political atmosphere in the United States and students wanting to have a say in subsequent policies.
William Vuncannon, a first-year studying political science, said he is running in order to bring new ideas to the Student Senate.
“There's probably a lot of ideas I have that other people have not thought of and that works both ways, but there are solutions to problems affecting our college, our university, that I've never thought of but someone else in the CHASS may have,” Vuncannon said. “We're often seen as an engineering school; how can we kind of change that to say ‘If you're in CHASS, we want to represent you. What issues matter to you?’”
Anneliese McInnis, a second-year studying political science, emphasized the importance of turning the concerns of students into real action.
“More than anything, it’s an area of work where I can actually see progress and change in the things that I do,” McInnis said. “I think the main idea is that you listen to what students want and you understand and you properly communicate that to administration through legislation, and I think we're all fit for the job.”
Due to COVID-19, many candidates have changed their campaign tactics to reach a wider audience, including students that may not be on campus.
“I plan to mostly do social media with the current situation with COVID-19 to get my message across to the majority,” Caldwell said. “I want people to have a face with a name and more specifically know what experiences and background I have that I’m using to best advocate for CHASS and the entire university.”
According to Caldwell, a team of 10 to 15 people usually help run SG campaigns, which includes getting the message out through posters, signs and sidewalk chalk near Talley Student Union and the Free Expression Tunnel. Candidates often reach out to different clubs and organizations to let them know that they are running and what they hope to do if elected.
When the ballots go live at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 15, a picture and a short paragraph about each candidate will be displayed on the ballot. The ballot will open for 48 hours, closing at 11:59 p.m. March 16.
A full list of candidates for each college can be viewed here.