IUStudent Government will have elections for 61 congressional seats Oct. 1 and 2.
Thirty-two seats represent residential areas, and the remaining 29 are reserved for the different schools at IU. Sixteen of the 32 residential area seats elected in October will represent the off-campus housing, and four of the 29 academic seats will represent the Kelley School of Business.
“I think Congress is a great option for students,” said senior Cassiday Moriarity, former summer speaker of IUSG Congress. “They can really pursue what they are interested in, and they also get to learn a lot about what other issues are at the university and how we can potentially solve them.”
Students interested in running must declare their intention to run for one specific seat, which corresponds to the community of people they will represent if they are elected, on their IUSG Congress application. The application is due Sept. 17, Moriarity said.
If someone isn’t elected, they’re still able to be a part of Congress by participating as ad hoc members. The difference between elected and ad hoc members is the latter can’t vote, Moriarity said.
The Saturday following elections, members will go through a training session, which was created during Congress’ summer session, Moriarity said.
In the training, new members will be taught how to effectively participate in meetings, complete committee work and work with administrators to change policy on campus, junior Dominic Thompson said. He served as the off-campus congressman during summer session.
Members will also be required to attend Step UP! IU training, which will teach students how to intervene in problematic situations such as sexual assault and mental health issues.
“We have been working very hard on that training,” Thompson said. “It’s the first time that it has ever been done within IUSG, and we really hope that it’s going to be successful for incoming members.”
Everyone should feel welcome and qualified to run for Congress, said former Briscoe Quad representative Madeline Garcia. However, it is important that those elected have good communication skills and an open mind.
“When we just live our weekly schedule of classes, activities and going back home to an apartment or dorm, we don’t see that full picture of what everyone else is doing,” Garcia said. “We can’t be everywhere at once, and that’s I think why communication is crucial to making someone a great representative.”
Thompson said passion for local issues and dedication to the organization are important qualities for representatives to have.
“If you are dedicated about what you believe in, if you come with good ideas, you are going to be able to make a change on this campus," Thompson said. "That should be the ultimate goal of anyone who is in student government."