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Student Senate elections are next week: Here’s how the process works

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Here’s how the Judicial Panel will run the Student Senate elections next week.

Student Senate will hold its annual election for the student body to select who will represent them next year on April 2.

This will be a single ticket election, with every candidate except one being part of the Forward ticket. One independent candidate is contesting the election to represent the Scripps College of Communications.

Chief Justice Walter Milhoan wanted the current Student Senate election to be contested so he would be able to train the rest of the Judicial Panel how to handle a contested election.

“In order to try and make that happen, we extended the application deadline,” Milhoan said. “It didn’t help any. And that’s fine.”

Milhoan extended the original deadline from Feb. 28 to Mar. 12.

Last year’s election was also uncontested. The last time there was a contested election was two years ago, when three tickets ran.

“I personally did not really want to see a trend of single tickets running because I think that that is potentially harmful to the democratic structure of the organization,” Milhoan said. “I didn’t even hear about anyone else thinking about running this year.”

Milhoan said that there’s been a national trend of fewer people running for student government positions, so a single-ticket election at Ohio U isn’t too unusual. He also expressed confidence in current Student Senate President Maddie Sloat and the people who are currently running.

“Maddie has done fabulously and I think that, in the event that the Forward ticket wins,” Milhoan said, “I think they will do very well next year.”

Lydia Ramlo, candidate for Student Senate president and sitting treasurer, said it is frustrating that there is a lack of engagement among the student body.

“This is the second year that a ticket for Student Senate has run unopposed,” Ramlo said. “It was very frustrating last year running on that ticket but I believe it’s even more frustrating this year.”

However, she said the situation does not undermine her or her ticket’s resolve.

“Everyone thinks ‘oh it’s so much easier running unopposed,’ but I really disagree with that,” Ramlo said. “Because it’s really the aim of getting people for voter turnout and making sure we are representing all the students at Ohio University.”

According to Milhoan, each ticket can have up to 38 members. These include three executive officers, six senators for residence life, five off-campus senators, five senators at-large, one senator for each of the academic colleges, and nine senators for the Senate appropriations commission.

These 38 senators alone do not make up the entirety of Student Senate. Outside of the elected officials, there are 13 commissioners whom the executive officers appoint and the senate must approve with a two-thirds supermajority. There are also a variety of non-elected people on the commissions.

The Student Senate Judicial Panel, led by Milhoan, administers these elections. It is a body independent of Student Senate that ensures every participant follows the election rules.

The chief justice appoints members of the Judicial Panel, who then need the approval of two-thirds of Senate. The Judicial Panel also has a clerk of courts who acts as a liason between it and Senate.

Members of the Judicial Panel serve one-year terms until they leave the university, resign, or are impeached. After an election, the incoming executive officers appoint the new chief justice and the outgoing senate has to approve them.

The Judicial Panel is only in its third year of existence, after its creation from the merging of three former senate commissions.

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