How the SGA election operates


Payton Harper (left), Kiley Silva (right)

Anna Vande Krol, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The Student Government Association’s (SGA) election nominations closed on Friday, March 31. Kiley Silva, the current President, and Payton Harper, the current Vice President, provided information on how the election usually operates every year and what SGA is like for members. 

For students wanting to be elected into SGA, the requirements are explained by Silva. “You fill out the form and you say what you’re running for. They’ll ask you some questions within the form like ‘Why do you love Viterbo?’, ‘Why do you want to be [considered for] this position?’ [and] ‘Why do you think you’re a good fit?’ and you write out your answers and submit them. Then, those answers get submitted to the whole campus and people vote based on your answers.” Harper then adds, “Everyone is up for reelection. All positions are open.” This means that every member in SGA cannot serve for more than a school year unless they get reelected for the next election. 

A major change that happened a couple years back for the SGA election is that the President and Vice President run together on the same ticket. “When we decided to run, we had to run as Silva-Harper,” Silva says. Other than advertising the election and planning when the voting period is (when it opens, when people can vote, and when it closes), Silva and Harper don’t have much influence over the election. “We don’t know how many people are running, who’s running, or what their answers are,” Silva states. Kirsten Gabriel, the Vice President for Student Life, and the Dean of Students, is the one who is mainly in charge of running the election and overseeing it. 

The positions that are open for the 2023-2024 academic year are the President/Vice President, College/School/Conservatory Senators, Class Senators, Commuter Student Senator, International Student Senator, and Non-Traditional Student Senator. Although this election is open to any student at Viterbo, they have an external election within SGA where they appoint the Secretary and the Public Relations Officer. “They’re elected within SGA so if anyone wants to specifically be the Public Relations Officer or specifically be the Secretary they should run for a general election,” Silva says. Along with these two positions, they also have the Financial Advisor that gets appointed by the previous one. 

If you’re wanting to make a change at Viterbo, Silva and Harper believe SGA is a great place for students to do just that. “SGA is a really great opportunity. I don’t regret it for a second. It is every other Sunday for an hour, so essentially two hours out of your month. It gives you the opportunity to create change. We have a section in our meetings where we have student voices, so anyone in SGA who sees something they want fixed bring it up,” Harper states.  

“The recent wage increase that just happened is, to me, the perfect example of why people should join SGA, because for probably three years that we’ve been in SGA we’ve talked about it as general members. Probably once or twice or three times a semester we’ll be like ‘Man, the wage increase it needs to happen,’ and then we just kept talking about it, kept talking and kept talking about it and then it happened. So, if you have something that you believe should happen and you keep working at it and having those conversations, it will happen,” Silva says. 

Results for the SGA election will be announced on Thursday, April 13.