3 candidates on ballot for USG president

By Gus Bode

Factoid:Elections for USG president will take place April 19 and 20 in the Student Center, Morris Library, Lentz Hall, Trueblood Hall and Grinnell Hall

Three candidates are fighting for one of the top student leader positions on SIUC’s campus.

The upcoming election will pit three candidates against each other, which the current USG president says will prove interesting because of the student body’s new awareness of the senate.

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“A lot people have gotten more interested in USG because the spotlight put on us,” said current USG president Tequia Hicks.

This year’s presidential candidates are Michael Burrows, a junior from Chicago studying political science; TyJuan Cratic, a sophomore from Chicago studying political science and economics; and Nate Brown, a sophomore from Chester studying political science.

Burrows will run under the Voice Party, with running mate Taurian Harris, a freshman from Chicago studying political science. Harris ran unsuccessfully for the Carbondale City Council earlier this year.

Cratic will run under the Liberty Party with Summer Edmonson, a senior from Oak Park studying fashion design merchandising. Cratic and Edmonson are both senators on USG.

Brown will run under the Students First Party with John Teresi, a junior studying administration of justice. Brown is the former USG vice president, and Teresi is the former president of the College Republicans.

Senator Joe Moore said he is interested to see whom the student body chooses because of the candidates’ diverse views on issues affecting campus.

“It’s an opportunity for students to see what direction they want the student government to go,” Moore said.

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USG controls more than $450,000 in student activity fees, which is spent throughout the year by Registered Student Organizations for events for students across campus.

The president is the main overseer of USG. Along with running the office, the president’s job includes watching over the 50 campus committees under USG, keeping track of the student activity fee fund and meeting with the chancellor on a regular basis.

“The president is the prime liaison when a student voice needs to be heard,” Hicks said.

The second most powerful position in USG is the vice president. Hicks said the vice president’s job is more clerical than policy-based, like the president. The vice president runs the senate meetings, works closely with the finance committee and assumes the responsibility of the president as needed.

After several phone calls, Erin Logan, election commissioner for student trustee, was not reachable for comment on the candidates running for student trustee.

Because there needs to be an unbiased voice to conduct the election, a separate group is brought in to ensure the safety of the election, said Tyler Myers, this year’s elections commissioner.

Myers said candidates can get intense during elections and that his job becomes critical during April.

Along with running debates and training poll workers, Myers also makes sure grievances brought by candidates are solved as well as running from each polling place making sure the workers are going as planned on election day.

Myers said candidates are to follow strict rules, which are laid out in the 2005 campaign guidelines packet.

Rules regulate that candidates need to obtain a permit from University Housing to solicit on campus. Posters are also to be hung up on proper areas, such as bulletin boards and other approved areas.

Another rule for candidates is no mass e-mails to students. A $400 cap is also put on candidates and workers for the presidential and vice presidential team, Myers said.

Last year, more than 1,300 student voters came to the polls for the two-day election, Myers said. But bringing the whole student body would ensure an interesting election.

“I would love to have 20,000 votes, but over 2,000 would just be dandy,” Myers said.

Reporter Matthew McConkey can be reached at [email protected]

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