Senate elections to be held despite Rita

Despite the looming prospect of another hurricane pushing back scheduled events, Hurricane Rita only had minor consequences for the upcoming Student Government Senate Elections.

After the University closed on Monday, the regularly scheduled candidates’ meeting was postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday evening. All other events will continue as planned.

Voting will begin on Monday in the Breezeway. Students can stop at their leisure and vote electronically on computers. The system allows each student to vote for the Senate seats that represent them and allows scores to be tallied in an efficient manner. Voting will be open through Wednesday.

Candidates are permitted to begin campaigning after attending the workshop. The time period before voting begins, when candidates are encouraged to promote their ideas and campaign for election, has been cut short a few days as a result of the University closing for Monday afternoon and Tuesday due to Hurricane Rita.

The decision to continue as scheduled without moving the process back an extra week came Wednesday afternoon. While there was concern that a rushed election would give voters little time to decide who to vote for, the administration and the Election Commission ultimately decided that the Senate would be more productive if it remained on schedule and that the delay would not have a significant effect on the Senators’ ability to complete their campaign.

“In terms of voter turn out, we don’t think [the delay] will change anything,” Elections Commission Chair Martin Cruz-Mesa said. “Senators will have less time to campaign, but we are trying to accommodate everyone and not have to move back Senate meetings that are already scheduled.”

There are no referenda to be voted on and there are a total of 22 Senate seats available (please see box in page 5). Election results will be announced 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Stacey Arnold can be reached at