This spring, those interested in running in the Fairfield University Student Association Presidential Elections will now have the opportunity to run in the Senatorial Election as well. On Monday, Jan. 18, FUSA’s Senate voted that there will now be two spring elections. By having two elections, those interested in running for president but are not voted in can also choose to run in the Senate race for their class.

Up until now, students who ran in the Presidential Election and lost were able to apply for all other seats on the board except for the Senate.

“On FUSA, if you ran for the presidency or vice presidency and lost, you could still apply to be the Chair of Programming, the Chair or Marketing, the Chair of COSO. But as for Senate, you don’t have that option,” said FUSA President Anif McDonald ‘16. “Say you’re a Senator who runs for the presidency or vice presidency, once you lose, you don’t really have a Senate fallback.”

FUSA has made the decision that if a student is interested in running for both, they must declare their campaign for the presidency and Senate board at the same time. For anyone interested in running for both, Senior Class President and FUSA Election Commissioner Matthew Rotondaro says that the person running should focus primarily on running for president.  

The Presidential Election will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 23. If the person campaigning for the presidency does not win, they will have 24 hours to go to the election committee and declare that they will still continue to run for Senate. The election for a position on the Senate will take place a week later, on Tuesday, March 1.

Junior Dimitri Skuret, a current Senator for the Class of 2017, said that he will be campaigning for FUSA president. Although he has been driven to participate in the Presidential Election long before the decision to have two elections, he also plans to campaign to be a senator this spring.

“I want to be an advocate for the student body in any way that I can,” said Skuret.

According to McDonald, the two different elections eliminates one of the bigger problems FUSA has faced in the past.

“Now that we have these two separate elections, you can run for FUSA president and vice president and if you lose, you can still be a part of any other board or branch,” said McDonald. “So Senate is still another option so we don’t end up losing a really good candidate or FUSA member.”

However, some members feel as though the two different elections will change how the Senate works. Chair of Senate Zoë Ferranti ‘17 decided to abstain from the vote that determined if two elections should take place.

“A senator’s commitment and the commitment of the president and vice president are both important and extremely demanding… but the job descriptions for each differ greatly,” said Ferranti. “I worry now that this minimizes the election of a class senator as a backup position for those who may lose, which bothers me knowing how hard my current senators work.”

Ferranti continued, saying that she worries the hype of the Presidential Election will take away from the importance of the Senatorial Election.

“I think that running for a class senate seat is just as honorable and is almost as demanding as a role of president and vice president in different ways,” said Ferranti.

Rotondaro, who was responsible for writing the legislation regarding the elections, does not believe that this election will take away from the meaning of the Senate.

“This is an effort for us to keep proactive people” said Rotondaro. “It’s not so much of a safety net as it is an opportunity to stay involved.”

Applications are still open for students to sign up to run for both president and senator in the upcoming elections.

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