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SGA elections draw lone candidate for Treasurer position

UMBC’s Student Government Association has recently released a list of students who submitted their applications and have qualified to run for positions in student government in the upcoming April elections. Out of all the candidates running for the various positions in the SGA, only one has been listed as running for Treasurer.

Hannah Sadollah, a sophomore pursuing a psychology major, is the only candidate on the shortlist running for Treasurer. Although the list is preliminary and not final (as candidates must first be checked for eligibility), so far she is the only student who has demonstrated her intention to run.

Sadollah has served as Treasurer and President of UMBC’s Persian Student Association, and is currently a member of the Financial Support Team, part of the SGA’s Executive Branch. Despite being the only name on the list for Treasurer, Sadollah would still have to receive a number of votes equal to at least 5% of the number of total votes cast in the election.

“It’s nice that people keep reminding me that I still need to get at least 5% of the votes to win. I’m still excited to campaign; I don’t want to be Treasurer just because I was the only name on the ballot, I want to earn this position,” said Sadollah.

Sadollah was the Treasurer at UMBC’s Persian Student Association by the second semester of her freshman year; she currently serves as its president.

The SGA Treasurer, along with the rest of the Finance Board, is responsible for the operating budget allocated through Student Activity Fees. The Student Activity Fee is a $98 fee paid by all undergraduates along with their tuition. The 2016 budget was just over a million dollars – $1,033,057 exactly. The treasurer stipend for that year was $4,326, or about 0.42% of the total SGA budget (that amount is subject to change for the following academic year).

The SGA’s Finance Board consists of seven voting members: the SGA Vice President of Student Organizations, the SGA Treasurer, and five other SGA Finance Board Representatives, which include the chair and vice chair.

Additionally, the Treasurer and Finance Board are responsible for allocating the budget and funds for student organizations, communicating with clubs and other organizations during Finance Board meetings and going over their requests. To Sadollah, her experiences at PSA and at the Financial Support Team give her an edge.

“I know what it’s like to work with the SGA through the Financial Support Team. But I also know what it’s like to be on the side of the student organizations, so I think that brings a unique perspective,” she commented.

During SGA elections, candidates for the Senate and Finance Board, such as Sadollah, are elected by plurality through the newly added instant runoff voting system. While Sadollah is the only one currently running for Treasurer, write-in votes are allowed in SGA elections.

While the Treasurer position had a lack of applicants, other positions had an abundance. 27 students applied to be a candidate for senator (only 11 positions available) and 10 candidates applied to be a candidate for finance board representative (only 5 positions available).

The election will take place via myUMBC through Monday, April 17 to Wednesday, April19.