April 12, 1999

Two will compete for SGA president

Election committee may face shortage of polling volunteers

by Josh Renaud
staff assistant

Two candidates will face off for the presidency of the Student Government Association in elections scheduled for later this month.

SGA Treasurer Jacqueline Anderson, a sophomore biology major and Darwin R. Butler, a junior in business administration and president of the Organization for Producing Sucessful Black Men and Women, have both filed applications to be the next student body president. Two-term incumbent president Jim Avery is not running for re-election.

The campaign for comptroller will also see a two-way contest between senior accounting major Jana Johnson and Bryan Shaw, a senior accounting/management information systems/finance major and current president of the Pierre Laclede Honors College.

University Program Board President Carrie Mowen, a senior anthropology major, is the sole candidate filing for the position of vice-president. Neither incumbent Comptroller Ben Ash nor incumbent vice-president Mike Rankins are running for their respective posts again.

Anderson, Mowen and Shaw are all running on the same "Reformation" party slate. Butler and Johnson are running on a separate unnamed slate.

In addition to the SGA executive offices, seven students have chosen to run for open representative seats in the SGA Assembly. One is an incumbent. None will run with opposition with 15 assembly spots remaining unoccupied.

Members of the SGA election committee are trying to recruit volunteers to man the polls during the elections on Apr. 21 and 22.

"To pull this off, we really need to have about fifty volunteers," said committee co-chair Joshua Stegeman, "but so far we only have about 24."

The committee hopes to have ballot boxes available at nine locations on the North Campus and the South Campus, including the University Center lobby, the Underground, the Mark Twain Gymnasium, Lucas Hall, Marillac Hall, the Research Building, the Social Studies Building, the Honors College, and a booth at Mirthday, said committee co-chair Gail Rimkus. Students can vote during the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or in the evening between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Rimkus said they will also have ballot boxes at the UM-St. Louis satellite locations in St. Charles, Jefferson County Community College, and Fox High School.

Stegeman said that over the past few years, the number of students casting votes has increased.

"Two years ago, there were about 600 votes cast," Stegeman said, "and last year, there were around 800. The candidates last year raised awareness with a really exciting campaign and got students involved."

While the committee is preparing for about 1,000 voters, Stegeman said there was a good chance the election turnout would be smaller than in years past.

"All the SGA mess this year has turned a lot of people off," he said. "There's no way to know for sure, but it looks like there will be fewer candidates and voters. When they hear at all the talk about possibly disbanding SGA, or rewriting the constitution, or impeaching the president, they don't want to get involved in something like that."

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

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