Running for student government can seem like an overwhelming decision, especially during a global pandemic. With social distancing measures still in place, the campaigning process will look a bit different from before. With universities moving entire student elections online, you’re presented with the unique challenge of reaching as many students as possible all from home. Check out these tips from students who recently ran for student government and won.
2020-2021 Student Body President
Mesa Community College
IGNITE Phoenix Fellow Yudidt Nonthe ran for Student Body President during COVID-19. Here are some tips from Mesa Community College’s newest Student Body President on campaigning remotely:
- Create a pitch that’s authentic to you and let that authenticity shine throughout your campaign, especially if you’re creating a video or flyer that will be shared across many social media platforms.
- If you’ve made connections throughout your time as a student, reach out to those networks (classmates, student organizations, professors, etc.) to pitch your campaign. Text and email as many people as you can, because even if it’s just a few people, that’s still a network.
- Remember why you’re running for this position in the first place. I ran because I know that one day I’ll be able to advocate for myself and others in my community. Why do you want to run?
- Don’t be afraid to lean on your support systems, they’re there to help you in moments of self-doubt. For me, hearing my IGNITE sister, Southern California Fellow Anais Franco, saying that I can do this was the push that I needed to run.
Agnes Scott College
IGNITE Atlanta Fellow Loren Walter ran for re-election to remain as Agnes Scott College’s Senator-at-Large during COVID-19. Here are some tips for Loren on how to get started with student government:
- Your campaign is on you, but your university’s SGA organization is a good place to start if you’re unsure of what the process is like. One piece of advice they gave to all candidates was to make sure that you run for issues that matter to you, not on popularity.
- Start out by seeking social media groups like Facebook groups (class groups for your college or community) because you can make a lot of friends and connections that way. Reach out to those people so you can build a following.
- With that being said, it can seem intimidating talking to new people whether in person or online. But just keep in mind that people are social and appreciate when you talk to them about something you’re passionate about.
- People like to see the person behind the campaign, they want to see a person they can relate to. So if you have a story as to why you’re running, share your story because they’ll be more likely to vote for someone who they made a personal connection with.
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