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SG elections move online

In 2015, only six percent of the FGCU student body participated in Student Government elections. This year, Ian Knight, the supervisor of elections in the Election Rules Committee, is positive half of the student body will participate.
“We’ll be going online this year,” Knight said. The ERC will use Eaglelink, a website used by the university to coordinate Registered Student Organizations, as a voting system. Every student can access his or her account on Eaglelink by entering the first part of their email, which is everything without the, and their email password.
“It won’t be a process that requires you to fully understand Eaglelink,” Knight said. “It’s relatively a simple front.”
Last year, only one student ran for the president position: Thieldens Elneus. Knight said the ERC has worked to ensure this will not happen again.
“We have a plan in doing so,” Knight said. The ERC has considered online voting in past years, but this is the fi rst time they will use it.
“That is part of the reason why we increased marketing and are utilizing all of our resources to ensure that (single candidate election) doesn’t happen,” Knight said Knight said a “radical” marketing front will be implemented to encourage students to take part in elections.
The ERC is planning to put up banners, give out flyers and hold tabling sessions as part of its marketing tactic. Also, a new member was added to the ERC — the logistics and adjunct coordinator — who will help with tabling efforts and reserving rooms for interest meetings.
The new position was added to the other three positions, which are rules and regulations coordinator, volunteer coordinator and marketing and advertising coordinator. Two interest meetings were scheduled for potential candidates, one took place Thursday, Jan. 21 and the other one is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4.
According to the Election Code, elections must be held three days before spring break, and campaigning must begin seven days before the first day of elections. This year, elections will begin on March 1, so campaigning will begin Feb. 23.
The online voting system will open at 9 a.m. March 1 and close at 5 p.m. March 3. In addition to this, the ERC will hold voting sessions every day in the Cohen Center just in case someone needs help or wants to vote on campus
. On March 1, the session will take place from 10 a.m. to noon; on March 2, it will take place from noon to 2 p.m., and on March 3, it will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In past years, students have been offered “Get out of a parking ticket free” cards for voting. Knight said he is still considering incentives for online voting.
The applications, or candidacy packages, were released Jan. 20 and are due at noon Feb. 8 in the Offi ce of Student Involvement. Candidates are not allowed to speak about their plans until campaigning is officially inaugurated.

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