So, you want to run for student office at RPI. There are a lot of different ways you can get involved in student government, even if you don’t end up holding office. They range from being a member of a Senate, E-Board, or Class Council committee working on projects, to being one of the elected and voting members on one of the different bodies. Since the different bodies are explained on this site too, we’re just going to talk about the election process here.
Before elections, the positions that are up for voting are publicized, and an election handbook is released by the Rules and Elections committee (RnE), who win the award for most self-explanatory name in the school. This handbook explains the different rules and requirements for getting on the ballot, campaigning, and other parts of running for office in that election. To summarize the process here:
- People interested in office attend candidate information sessions held by RnE
- Candidates read the Election Handbook to go over the different rules more
- To get on the ballot for different positions, candidates have to officially register by turning in a candidacy form, and get different numbers of nominations by people in the constituency they’d be representing.
- Candidates campaign and advertise using methods ranging from the mighty interwebs to old fashioned postering.
- The day of voting, poll stations are normally set up in the Student Union, Commons Dining Hall, and the DCC (Darrin Communications Center, one of the main lecture buildings)
But when will I be able to do this you ask? There are two main election cycles:
- GM Week, typically in April, when student body wide elections are held, assorted festivities happen, mugs are given out for voting, and a general good time is had by all
- Freshman Elections in the fall, which are held to elect the representatives for the freshman class, to serve from then till GM Week in the spring. Because not having freshman reps till the freshmen are nearly sophomores would be no bueono.
Looking for more information on elections & candidates? Check out the Rules & Elections website.
So that’s elections in a nutshell. If you have any more questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, only masking tape (unless it’s on a tree [then use string]) and NO LIVE ANIMALS.
No, really. Those are both actual rules.