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ISSUE 118 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/24/2004

Elections determine hall leaders: Candidates get involved to make an impact on Council

By Jean Mullins
News Editor

Friday, September 24, 2004

Hall Council elections allow students to get involved in the smaller-scale governments of their residence halls.

For many, hall council is the first step to meeting more people in their halls and becoming involved in the planning of hall activities.

Primary elections took place Monday, Sept. 20, and general elections were held Tuesday, Sept. 21. There are 10 residence halls on campus, each with its own council, with Hilleboe and Kittlesby counting as one dormitory. Each Hall Council consists of five executive positions: president, vice president, treasurer, hall recorder and senator. Primary elections narrowed down fields of candidates to two final candidates, while the general election decided who was to hold the position for the academic year.

All members have special responsibilities, which include planning events, taking suggestions from residents, legislating individual hall policies and fostering a unique community within each hall.

"You get to decide what kind of food and parties you get to have," said Andrew Keay 07, new Larson president.

The Hall Senator not only attends each Hall Council meeting, but also takes concerns of the residents to the Student Senate, a part of St. Olaf's Student Government Association (SGA). There, hall senators voice student concerns in the context of the larger St. Olaf community.

"I got involved with Hall Council because it is a good opportunity to change things around campus," said Katie Johns 07, new Larson senator .

Anyone can run for Hall Council positions, and all residents are encouraged to get involved by going to the Hall Council meetings or becoming corridor representatives. Corridor representatives take the concerns of their corridors to the Hall Council meetings and vote on behalf of their corridor.

Area Coordinators (ACs) and Student Hall Coordinators (SHCs) ran this year's Hall Council elections. Peg Walter, assistant director of Residence Life, organized the elections. The AC for each dorm counted the ballots in the presence of the SHC or another hall staff member after the polls closed at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. All the candidates received a personal phone call informing them of the results before the whole hall was informed.

If a candidate is not elected, we still encourage them to get involved," Walter said. She suggested that candidates become corridor representatives or attend the meetings and actively participate with suggestions and involvement in hall activities.

On Sunday, Sept. 19, each hall held candidate forums, inviting residents to meet the people running for hall council. Each candidate was able to give a short speech to the audience.

Many talked about the importance of forming a greater community. Others talked about previous experience on hall councils. Hilleboe-Kittlesby presidential candidate Pat Freeman 07 said, "I enjoy working with the people. I worked on Hall Council last year and remember the fun times."

Some first-year students were eager to use Hall Council as a way to get involved and meet people. New Hilleboe-Kittlesby vice president Phil King 08 said, "I feel like I could make a difference."

Hall Council offers all students a way to get involved in the happenings their halls, and also to affect the greater community.

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