Candidates for the 2022 IU Student Body President election started campaigning Feb. 9, after the deadline to submit declarations of candidacy passed Feb. 8. Voting will begin March 1.
IUSG’s Election Commission ensures the election is a fair and equal process by planning the timeline of the election, making sure everyone is following the rules and reviewing complaints, Mary Stafford, co-chair of the IUSG Election Commission, said.
Stafford said she hopes voter engagement and involvement in student government increases this election and that more students will vote and give their input.
“I want to stress the importance of getting involved civically on campus, because it does affect you,” Stafford said. “A lot of people don't feel like they have anything to contribute, but they really do, and we want to hear from the student body about what they want IUSG to change.”
The last election with in-person campaigning was in 2019, IU Student Body Vice President Madeline Dederichs said.
Dederichs said she encourages candidates to spread their ideas by getting students involved in focus groups, buying merchandise such as T-shirts and buttons and creating a social media campaign.
“Student government isn't necessarily about having to always speak on behalf of other people, but rather to be able to uplift their voices,” Dederichs said. “Sticking to what you talk about with your campaign goals throughout your term is the best way to be successful.”
Dederichs said her favorite part of campaigning last year was creating authentic and genuine connections with many students across campus, listening to their ideas about student government and implementing those ideas into the administration.
Campaigning for student government is a public-facing experience, which can also be very challenging, Dederichs said.
“You have to be willing and able to put yourself out there and face criticism,” Dederichs said. “How you react to that criticism will share a lot about how you will serve in a leadership role.”
The 2021 election was marked by an unprecedented number of election complaints, including sending unsolicited mass text messages. This delayed the vote verification process and resulted in multiple IUSG Supreme Court hearings and the disqualification of the ticket receiving the most votes.
“After last year, everyone saw how stressful things can get during the election season,” Adenike Oladeinde, co-chair of the IUSG Election Commission, said. “We have a campaign guide that shows everything that you're supposed to do and what you're not supposed to do during the election, and if the candidates follow those rules, we're not going to have a large problem like that.”
Oladeinde said she has faith in the candidates that there won’t be any significant violations or problems with the election this year.
“I'm really excited for the election,” Oladeinde said. “I think it's gonna be a good one.”
Election Timeline according to the Election Commission's 2022 Campaign Guide
Feb. 10: All-Candidate Meeting (Walnut Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 6-7 p.m.)
Feb. 18: Candidate Town Hall (Walnut Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 6-7 p.m.)
Feb. 25: Candidate Debate (Sassafras Room, Indiana Memorial Union, 6-7 p.m.)
March 1-2: Voting (10 a.m. March 1 to 10 p.m. March 2)
March 5-8: Preliminary Result Announcement
Mid-March: Result Certification
April 15: Inauguration