The independent news organization of Duke University

DSG holds elections today for 'Senate' spots

It may not be a presidential election, but students will be casting their votes with much of the same enthusiasm of the proverbial MTV slogan "Rock the Vote!" in today's Duke Student Government senatorial election.

 The polls for DSG senator positions will be open today from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the DSG website. Students should receive an e-mail from DSG with a direct link to the online polls by 9 a.m., said Cliff Davison, executive vice president.

 DSG officials will also man polling stations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Alpine Bagels and the Bryan Center as well as from noon until 8 p.m. in front of the Marketplace on East Campus.

 "We're extending [manned polling station] hours this year and we hope it will increase student turn-out," said Davison.

 One major change in this election is that the structure of the general student government body will change from proportional representation to equal representation based on residential location. Specifically, the DSG by-laws now provide for 11 seats for each of the four student living locations, East, West and Central Campuses and off-campus.

 As a result of this change, members will have the title of 'senator,' instead of being called 'legislators,' as in the past. "However, members can still be described as legislators because obviously they still decide legislation," said Davison. "The two terms will be used interchangeably this year."

 Another change in the election is the requirement of all candidates to sign a pledge agreeing to abide by the DSG by-laws and constitution. "By signing, it means they've read the information and will follow it," DSG Attorney General David Kahne said.

 In a stiffer competition than last year, 25 students are competing for 11 West Campus seats, whereas last year only 20 candidates contested 18 seats. Twenty freshmen will be vying for 11 seats for East Campus; however, both the Central and off-campus elections have uncontested seats, with five and four candidates for each race, respectively.

 Members of the DSG Election Commission, who met Monday night in preparation of the election, remained hopeful for higher voter turn-out and encouraged students not running to consider applying for an at-large or University committee position. Applications for both positions will be available from the DSG office in the coming weeks.

 "Voting numbers were so high from this last executive election that we're really hoping for high turn-out," Vice President of Student Affairs Elizabeth Dixon said. "In general, the executive and the cabinet are really excited about the new senators this year," she said. Kahne echoed Dixon's sentiments. "I foresee the elections going very smoothly," he said. "We hope that it is a clean election."


Share and discuss “DSG holds elections today for 'Senate' spots” on social media.