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The UCF SGA Senate elections will run from Sept. 28 to 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Student Union patio.

Students can only vote for senators who are running in their same college, said Nicklas Bajema, SGA elections supervisor. Declaration of candidacy ended on Sept. 16. In order for a senator to be eligible for candidacy, he or she must be endorsed by 25 to 50 students in their college and attend an SGA Senate informational session. The number of required signatures, or endorsements, varies from college to college. For every 8,000 students, there should be one senator, Bajema said.

Student Body President Cait Zona was a senator for the College of Education and Human Performance as a freshman. Last year, she served as Speaker of the Senate.

"[A senator] is someone representing your entire college to the college dean," she said. "Be as educated as possible when you go with someone that you want to represent your college."

Along with standing as liaisons for colleges, senators also represent registered student organizations, guiding them to receive SGA funding for their events.

"Senators go out and talk to different RSO leaders and let them know what SGA is ... let them know what their resources are," Zona said.

Bajema encouraged students to be on the lookout for candidates campaigning around campus. Candidates' platform points will also be posted on the SGA website soon, he said.

"Not only does it teach you to get involved ... but also to get out there in the real world and vote for state, federal and municipality," he said.

The 2014-15 year saw the first Senate and presidential election seasons not allowing candidates to hand out food during the campaigning process — though the SGA Election Commission is permitted to hand out promotional food items.

Though last year's Senate elections saw 2,948 votes — 2,307 less from the year before  Zona said she is optimistic about voter turnout.

"I hope to see a really high turnout. I don't think it will go anything but up. I don't believe it will go down because in presidential elections we saw a really good turnout," Zona said, referring to the more than 7,000 votes that came in during the spring presidential elections.

If necessary, run-off elections will be held the week after, from Oct. 5 to 7. Elected senators assume their seats for the fall and spring semesters.

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Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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