ISG vacancies affect equal representation


Constance Sarantos

Students Kirsten Peterson and Rahul Raju discuss the accessibility of voting locations on Friday at an Illinois Student Senate Complex meeting. ISG has eight senate seats that have not been filled by various colleges on campus.

By Sana Khadilkar, Contributing Writer

Many senate seats still remain vacant in the Illinois Student Government, affecting how each college is represented during voting, but not impacting the overall functioning of ISG, said Alissa Xiao, sophomore in LAS and speaker of the senate.

Currently, ISG has eight total vacant senate seats across LAS, Business, Engineering, FAA and the Graduate College, out of 52 in total.

“Typically we’ll have vacancies throughout the year because some people think it’s a bit too much work for them, and then they drop out halfway through, they resign or they get removed from their position because they missed too many meetings,” said Ali Mirza, sophomore in LAS, and membership development coordinator.

Since the number of senate seats is divided among each college based on enrollment size, certain colleges are given more seats than others. When there are vacancies, the representation of each college in ISG can be disrupted, as some colleges have open seats while others do not.

When ISG has vacancies, the quorum, which is the minimum number of senators required to attend a meeting, is lower, so fewer senators are required for a meeting to be organized.

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“This many vacancies are normal because some seats were not filled during the spring elections, and some seats have vacated as senators discover during their term that they are unable to meet the attendance requirements,” said Susan Zhou, sophomore in LAS and chief of staff for ISG.

To fill the vacancies, ISG follows standard procedures by opening an online application on the ISG website. People who are full-time students at the University can apply to become senators for the colleges their majors belong to, Mirza said.

Xiao said the Committee of Internal Affairs looks for candidates who are passionate, show leadership and have goals in mind for the positions.

“Typically enough people apply. If we don’t have any seats that are filled, if we don’t have any applicants that we think are good for the position, then we leave the seat vacant,” Mirza said.

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