Applications for Student Association (SA) and media positions for the 2022-2023 school year will open on January 10, according to Dennis Negrón, vice president for Student Development and head Student Association adviser. The deadline for online SA position applications and portfolios is January 27 at 5 p.m., and the deadline to submit hard-copy applications and portfolios at the Student Development Office is February 3 at 5 p.m.
The SA president, executive vice president and social vice president are elected by the student body, according to Negrón. Other SA Cabinet positions, such as the executive secretary, assistant vice president for finance, marketing director, communications director, parliamentarian and liaison for diversity are chosen after an interview with the Cabinet Elect and their advisers. The assistant vice president for finance must commit to a two-year position, as whoever is assistant vice president for finance becomes vice president for finance the following year, according to Negrón.
Media positions such as Southern Accent editor-in-chief, Southern Memories editor and Strawberry Festival producer are chosen by the Media Board, which is composed of the current students in the media positions and their advisers, according to Chair of the Media Board Stephen Ruf.
Negrón outlined the general election process in an interview with the Accent.
Once applications for the elected positions have been vetted by the Student Development Committee on February 7, candidates will attend the SA candidate election orientation on February 8 to learn more about campaign rules. On February 17, candidates will give their speeches at the 11 a.m. convocation in the Iles Gymnasium.
If there are more than two candidates running for the same position, a primary election will be held via Survey Monkey at noon that same day in order to eliminate one of the candidates. On February 22, a press conference will be held at Thatcher Chapel where students can ask candidates any questions they have. The general election will be held on February 24 via Survey Monkey.
Students who wish to apply for SA or media positions must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 during this academic school year and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25, according to the SA Applications webpage.
Students must also have attended Southern as a full-time student for at least one semester and be currently enrolled at Southern.
Current SA President Josh Esten described his own experience with the application process in an interview with the Accent.
“It was encouraging to have the people behind me pushing me and saying that they think I’d do a good job,” Esten said. “But just like anything else that you’re putting yourself out there for, it’s scary.”
Esten also recalled the amount of work that goes into the election process. He said candidates have to prepare for more than the application and interview. They also have to “know [their] slogan” and “get [their] morals and values out to the people,” not to mention creating a speech and preparing answers for the press conference.
“It’s a good amount of work,” Esten said. “It’s gonna take some time outside of classes, but no matter what, it’s definitely worth it.”
Esten also gave advice to possible presidential candidates. He said it is important to know how to manage time, take advantage of advisers’ help and have good people skills.
“But also know that you’re not alone,” Esten said. “That’s the most important thing. … We’re a team. And I like to believe that everyone knows that, and … they pour into you just as much as you pour into them.”
Ruf encouraged students to take advantage of the leadership and employment opportunities in SA offered to them.
“It’s very difficult to simulate those kinds of experiences in a classroom,” Ruf said. “But when students experience it firsthand on the job, so to speak, even though it’s right here on campus, that’s a valuable experience.”
Students can find more details and apply online at https://www.southern.edu/administration/student-development/student-association/SA_Applications.html.