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How To Become A Students' Association Senator

Students' Association Senate positions available now!

Applications available Friday, March 27th, through Friday, April 3rd

Have you ever considered serving on student government? Becoming a Students' Association senator is a great way to impact positive change for SDSU students while developing valuable leadership skills and growing your professional network.

Nine senator-at-large positions are available in the Students' Association Senate for the Senate term beginning Monday, April 13th, 2020. Senator-at-large positions are open to any SDSU student, provided they meet the senator eligibility criteria stated in Article V, Section 1, subsection D of the Students' Association Bylaws.

Students interested in applying for open senator-at-large positions must complete an application and interview with the Students' Association Board of Directors. Please note: For the March-April 2020 senator-at-large selection process, the petition requirement for senator-at-large candidates has been waived. Interested students should email the Students' Association Vice President at SDSU.SAVicePresident@sdstate.edu to request a senator-at-large application.

Important dates for the March-April 2020 senator-at-large application process

  • Friday, March 27th – Senator-at-large applications open.
    • Applications can be retrieved from the Students' Association website or by request via email to the Students' Association Vice President at SDSU.SAVicePresident@sdstate.edu.
  • Friday, April 3rd – Senator-at-large applications close at 5:00pm.
    • ​​​​​​​Completed applications must be emailed to the Students' Association Vice President at SDSU.SAVicePresident@sdstate.edu by 5:00pm Central Time.
  • Week of April 6th through April 10th – Senator-at-large interviews take place.
    • ​​​​​​​The interview schedule will be announced at a later date, but interviews will occur during the week of April 6th through April 10th. Interviews will be conducted via Zoom video conference with the Students' Association Board of Directors.
  • Monday, April 13th – New senators-at-large are sworn in.
    • ​​​​​​​New senators will be sworn in during the Students' Association Senate meeting at 7:00pm via Zoom video conference.

Please contact SDSU.SAVicePresident@sdstate.edu with any questions about the senator-at-large process or to request an application.

Request a senator-at-large application


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 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 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.

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. Petitions will be available in the Students' Association office beginning Tuesday, February 4th, 2019 (see other important election dates below).

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 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 by 5:00pm on Friday, February 28th. Petitions will be verified by the Office of Student Affairs, and senatorial candidates will be notified by Students' Association officers.

Candidate Meeting and Campaign Policies

Once petitions have been verified, confirming senatorial candidates, a mandatory candidate meeting will be announced. The candidate meeting for the 2020 Students' Association election will be held on Wednesday, March 4th at 6:00pm in the Lewis & Clark Room of the University Student Union. 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. 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. Any debates will be held during the week of March 16th through March 20th. The exact schedule of debates will be announced at a later date in order to best accommodate candidates' availability.

Important Election Dates

  • Monday, February 3rd – Nominations for SA President and Vice President open
    • Nominations can be made during SA Senate meetings on February 3, February 10, and February 24.
  • Tuesday, February 4th – Senator petitions open
    • Petitions can be picked up from the Students' Association office along Main Street in the University Student Union.
  • Monday, February 24th – Nominations for SA President and Vice President close
  • Friday, February 28th – Senator petitions close
    • Completed petitions must be turned into the Students' Association office by 5:00pm CST.
  • Wednesday, March 4th – Mandatory candidate meeting at 6:00pm in the Lewis & Clark Room
    • This meeting is required for all candidates to review campaign policies, verify ballot information, and have official headshots taken.
  • Week of March 16th-20th – Debates for senatorial and presidential/vice presidential candidates will be held for contested races (schedule TBA)
  • Tuesday, March 24th and Wednesday, March 25th – Students' Association election
    • Polls are open from 8:00am until 5:00pm each day. Voting is available online or at select polling locations across campus.
  • Monday, April 13th – All new senators and the president-elect and vice president-elect will be sworn in during the SA Senate meeting at 7:00pm in the Lewis & Clark Room of the University Student Union

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.