April 11 at 12:01 a.m. begins Student Government Association campaigns for 2016.

“This election season is interesting in the fact that we have four full executive tickets and 13 executive candidates in total,” Secretary of Interior Brad Fisher said. “In my four years here at ETSU, I have never seen this many students running for SGA.  This shows that more students are interested in SGA and want to become involved on campus—a very good thing!”

Fisher said that traditionally there have only been two executive tickets to run, which makes the four full tickets and independent ticket interesting. Historically, there have been other accounts for more than two tickets, but it is a rare occasion.

Besides the executive candidates, there are 39 candidates running for Senate seats–an unusual amount for Senate, as well.

“Our SGA Constitution outlines a checklist that must be completed before campaigning and voting may even start, and these actions are completed by the Election Commission—a temporary committee that oversees student elections each year,” Fisher said.

The Election Commission is overseen by Fisher, and the commission makes sure that each candidate can effectively campaign, determines the eligibility for each candidate and sets rules and regulations.

“We also hear violations and determine sanctions for infractions of the campaign rules,” Fisher said. “To help mitigate violations, though, we also hold orientation meetings with candidates so they have an opportunity to review all rules with us in person and ask questions.”

Fisher said those who do not comply with the rules are at the discretion of the Election Commission, who is specifically chosen to act neutral in the case of punishment for candidates breaking the rules.

“The most significant rule we stress during the orientation meetings with candidates is that campaigning may not begin before the designated time and date: 12:01 a.m. on April 11,” Fisher said.

Candidates are allowed to plan their platform and begin organizing details for their campaign, but nothing is to be shared with the public or promoted until the specific date and time.

There are also neutral zones that no candidate shall promote their campaign in such as the SGA office, residence halls, computer labs and the library. Also, the Election Commission must approve campaign material that will be used.

For those interested in meeting the candidates and tickets, there will be an executive debate and Senate meet-and-great on April 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center Ballroom.

“SGA serves as the official line of communication between university administration and students, and the election process helps to ensure that students are effectively and fairly represented,” Fisher said. “It is an exciting time to be here at ETSU, and the Student Government Association is helping to make changes that reflect and support the university’s mission and vision—become involved today!”