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How To Become A Students' Association Senator

Interested in becoming a Students' Association senator?

Becoming a Students' Association senator is a great way to impact positive change, build leadership skills, grow your professional network, and improve the student experience at SDSU. Students' Association senators represent their peers in university decision making and serve as liaisons between the student body, administration, and state policymakers.

There are two pathways to become a senator:

  • Run in the Students' Association general election during the spring semester and be elected by students in your academic college
  • Apply to become a senator-at-large when Senate seats become vacant mid-year or after the general election if all seats are not filled

More information about the Students' Association general election and the application process to become a senator-at-large is available below.

Students' Association 2021 General Election Information

The Students' Association election takes place each spring semester. The student body elects new senators as representatives for their respective academic colleges as well as a new student body president and vice president.

  • Monday, February 1st – Senator petitions open. Petitions can be retrieved by emailing the Students’ Association Vice President at SDSU.SAVicePresident@sdstate.edu. A physical copy of the petition can be provided if needed.
  • Friday, February 26th – Senator petitions close at 5:00 pm. Completed petitions must be emailed to the Students’ Association Vice President by 5:00 pm CST. All physical copies must also be turned into the Students’ Association Vice President by 5:00 pm CST.
  • Wednesday, March 3rd – Mandatory candidate meeting at 6:00 pm in Rotunda D. This meeting is required for all candidates to review campaign policies, verify ballot information, and have official headshots taken. Candidates may also attend the meeting remotely via Zoom if needed.
  • Week of March 15th-19th – Debates will take place for contested races. The debate schedule will be announced at a later date. Debates will be held for races where the number of senatorial candidates exceeds the number of seats available for a particular academic college.
  • Tuesday, March 23rd and Wednesday, March 24th –Students’ Association election. Polls are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day. Voting is available online.
  • Monday, April 12th –New senators are sworn in. New senators will be sworn in during the Students’ Association Senate meeting at 7:00 pm.

Senator Petitions 

Students wishing to run in the SA election as senatorial candidates must complete a petition in order to be placed on the ballot.

Senator petitions require basic information about the student (name, student ID, major, academic college, etc.), written responses to several questions about the student's qualifications and goals if elected as a senator, and signatures from other students in the same academic college. (Unsure which college your major falls within? Check this page.)

  • Undergraduate students, regardless of academic college, must obtain at least 50 signatures from other students in their same academic college. For example, a student whose major falls within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences must obtain at least 50 signatures from other students in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • We recommend getting around 60 signatures for the best chance of having your petition approved since some signatures are often invalid because of missing or incorrect information.
  • Graduate students wishing to run in the election as senatorial candidates for the Graduate School must obtain at least 25 signatures from other graduate students.
    • We recommend getting around 30-35 signatures for the best chance of having your petition approved since some signatures are often invalid because of missing or incorrect information.

When collecting electronic signatures for your petition, you'll need to gather the student's name, electronic signature, student ID number, and academic college. A personalized Microsoft form will be provided with your petition packet to gather this information. Petitions will be verified by the Office of Student Affairs, and senatorial candidates will be notified by the Students' Association executive team members.

Candidate Meeting and Campaign Policies

Once petitions have been verified, confirming senatorial candidates, details for the mandatory candidate meeting on March 3rd will be announced. All senatorial and presidential/vice-presidential candidates must attend this meeting in order to receive important information about the election and campaign guidelines. Alternate arrangements can be made for candidates who are unable to attend this meeting due to class conflicts. Please Contact the Students' Association Vice President if you are unable to attend the mandatory candidate meeting due to a class conflict.

Official SA campaign guidelines are included in the Students' Association Bylaws.

Read the campaign guidelines

Debates

If the number of senatorial candidates running in a particular college is more than the number of available seats in that college, a debate will be held. The exact schedule of debates will be announced at a later date in order to best accommodate candidates' availability.

Questions about the Students' Association election? Contact us.


Senator-At-Large Application Process

When Senate seats are not filled during the general election or when seats become vacant during the Senate term, these vacant seats are filled by senators-at-large. Senators-at-large do not represent a particular academic college, but rather represent the student body at large.

The process to become a senator-at-large is different than the process to run in the Students' Association election. Rather than being elected by peers in their academic college (as during the general election), senators-at-large are appointed by the Students' Association Board of Directors after an application and interview process, similar to a job interview.

Senator-At-Large Petitions 

Students wishing to apply to become senators-at-large must complete an application and petition similar to the petition senatorial candidates complete during the general election process.

The senator-at-large petition requires basic information about the student (name, student ID, major, academic college, etc.), written responses to several questions about the student's qualifications and goals if appointed as a senator-at-large, and signatures from other SDSU students.

  • Senator-at-large applicants must obtain at least 50 signatures from other SDSU students. Signatures can be collected from any student, regardless of their academic college.
    • We recommend getting around 60 signatures for the best chance of having your petition approved since some signatures are often invalid because of missing or incorrect information.

When collecting signatures for your petition, you'll need to gather the student's printed name, signature, student ID number, and academic college. Space is provided in the petition packet for all of this information.

Completed petitions must be turned in to the Students' Association office. Petitions will be verified by the Office of Student Affairs, and approved applicants will be notified by Students' Association officers. Interviews will follow.

Senator-At-Large Interviews

Senator-at-large applicants whose petitions are approved will be invited to interview with the Students' Association Board of Directors, a group of 8-12 Students' Association senators and officers. Interviews typically last about 10 minutes. Candidates will be asked to speak about their background, qualifications, and goals if appointed as a senator, and will answer questions from members of the Board of Directors.

    Questions about the senator-at-large process? Contact us.