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SGA Senate announces changes to 2023 Miss Homecoming timeline

<p>The SGA Senate meets in the Melton Student Center on Feb. 21, 2022, in Auburn, Ala.</p>

The SGA Senate meets in the Melton Student Center on Feb. 21, 2022, in Auburn, Ala.

On Monday, SGA passed a bill announcing the timeline for the 2023 Miss Homecoming elections.

The bill, brought forward by Senators At-Large Lucy Alford and Kase Chirico, outlined important election dates prospective candidates must meet to be considered for the position. 

Nominations for Miss Homecoming are due this Friday, April 7 at 4:45 p.m. However, the source of nearly an hour of debate stemmed from the proposal to have the candidate’s Declarations of Intent due on April 13, a week later.

During the meeting, SGA changed the Declaration of Intent due date to Aug. 17.

Declaration of Intent is the document a candidate must submit to announce their desire to run for an elected position formally and acts as an agreement to abide by election laws.

According to the SGA Code of Laws, the document that governs SGA conduct and elections, there are five major elected positions and titles. These are the SGA president, vice president, treasurer, Miss Auburn and Miss Homecoming.

If more than five qualified people are running for a major position, SGA must hold interviews to determine the top five most qualified candidates. The five selected become official candidates, and their names will appear on that cycle's ballot.

If more than 20 qualified people are running for a major position, the SGA holds preliminary interviews to determine the top 20 most qualified people. Then, the SGA selects five candidates after the previous 20 interview again.

The interviews for the president, vice president and treasurer occur seven days after a candidate submits their Declaration of Intent. However, the interviews for Miss Auburn and Miss Homecoming occur after nomination but before they submit their formal declaration.

The original April 13 declaration due date gave candidates less than a week to prepare for and complete up to two rounds of interviews. Additionally, the top five candidates for Miss Homecoming 2023 would have been announced five months before the Sep. 15 election and could potentially start campaign preparations this semester. 

In contrast, the 2022 Miss Homecoming declarations were due on Aug. 25 and the homecoming game, where Miss Auburn is announced, happened on Sep. 24.

The balancing act between candidate equity and procedural necessity was at the core of the debate.

There are a series of additional tasks a candidate must accomplish after they have been officially declared, such as an orientation and the code of laws test each candidate must pass before running. Under the original deadline proposed, candidates would have completed these tasks before finals week. 

Candidates, and election staffs, were given more time to accomplish these tasks by requiring them to submit their Declarations of Intent during the spring semester. However, it also meant that candidates would have known whether they were running and encouraged them to begin and sustain campaign preparations throughout the summer.

The 2023 Homecoming game is on Sep. 16, which means under the new deadlines, candidates and their staff will have 30 days from the first day of school to complete most of the election process.

Moving the declaration due date to Aug 17. allows candidates to wait until the fall semester to begin ramping up their campaigns in earnest. Additionally, it allows candidates with prior summer commitments to focus on those commitments instead of running a campaign.

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Ethan Flynn | Campus News Editor

Ethan Flynn, sophomore in journalism and finance, is the campus editor at The Auburn Plainsman. He has been with The Plainsman since Fall, 2022.

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