The Student Government Association (SGA) announced candidates for the upcoming elections.

The candidates were posted in the SGA office Monday afternoon, kicking off the election season.

“From that moment [announcement], everyone can start campaigning,” said Cari Tretina, election committee chair.

Three slates have been announced for the student body president and executive vice president positions: Sarah Carpenter/Steven Bradford, Dan Hendrickson/Kourtney Chrisman and Jacob Wright/Megan Holloway.

Brandon Mandigo and Ryan Poynter will be running for executive vice president for Student Activities Council (SAC). Joseph “J.P.” Fisher is the only candidate running for executive vice president of Residence Life Council (RLC).

Tretina said the candidates’ previous SGA experience should make the process run more smoothly this year.

“All of them do have SGA experience,” Tretina said. “That’s one thing that’s really not going to be put into question this year. They’re all very well acquainted with the rules.”

Nichole Arbino, executive vice president of SGA, said the candidates are a good fit for their prospective positions.

“I think that all the candidates are more than qualified for the position,” Arbino said. “I think that any one would do great in the offices.”

Tretina said all of the candidates were required to attend an informational meeting. At this meeting, potential candidates were given a packet, which included a breakdown of all election rules and regulations.

“Anything anyone could question is in that first part of the packet,” Tretina said. “We wanted everyone to know explicitly what the rules were. We wanted everyone to know what was right and wrong.”

Tretina said she gave out her cell phone number to all candidates so she could be contacted at any time about complaints or questions regarding elections processes or rules.

“It’s not even a fight, it’s an actual election,” Tretina said. “I told them a campaign should be about you, not making someone look worse than you.”

Around 49 people attended the informational meeting and Tretina said at least half of the packets were returned. The potential candidate pool was shortened by lack of signatures on their petition, grade point average or credit hours required for the position.

“For example, the executive slate has to collect 200 signatures to be eligible to be on the ballot and have the GPA and the credit hours,” Tretina said.

The SGA debate will take place at 5 p.m. April 9 in the ravine.

Phillip Kyles, member of the election committee, has worked heavily on the debate.

“We’re really trying to set this up like a real debate,” Kyles said. “It’d be really beneficial for students and members of SGA to come out and see what these candidates have to say.”

Kyles said the debate will consist of questions from the elections committee, the other candidates and the students themselves.

“I think that of all the avenues a person can take to learn about all the candidates, the debate is the best one,” Tretina said. “It’s a good indication that part of their job [stress] will be successful.”

Even though it’s short notice, Arbino said she’s keeping her fingers crossed for a clean campaign.

“I just hope that everybody runs a clean campaign this year,” Arbino said. “I really don’t think it’s as hectic [as previous years] so far, but we’ll see what happens.”

Tretina said she feels her committee has taken all precautions to ensure things run as smoothly as possible.

“I think and I hope it will go really well,” said Tretina.

(Editor’s Note: Cari Tretina serves as copy editor of this publication. However, she will not be permitted to edit stories involving SGA elections in order to prevent bias.)