Skip to main content
Menu
Close Search

How To Become A Students' Association Senator

Senator-at-large positions are available starting in January 2020!

The Students' Association Senate has three open seats for the spring 2020 semester that will be filled with senators-at-large. Scroll down to read more about the senator-at-large application process.

Important Senator-At-Large Application Dates

  • Monday, January 13th – Senator-at-large petitions open
    • Petitions can be picked up from the Students' Association office along Main Street in the University Student Union.
  • Wednesday, January 22nd – Senator-at-large petitions close at 5:00pm
    • Completed petitions must be turned into the Students' Association office by 5:00pm CST.
  • Week of January 27th-31st – Senator-at-large interviews
    • The interview schedule will be announced at a later date, but interviews will occur during the week of January 27th through January 31st.
  • Monday, February 3rd – New senators-at-large will be sworn in during the Students' Association meeting at 7:00pm in the Lewis & Clark Room of the University Student Union

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. 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.

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

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.
  • 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.