A sign that reads Laden Senate Chambers with a glass wall behind it.

Rachel Jackson/Nevada Sagebrush
The Rita Laden Senate Chambers during the weekly ASUN senate meeting on Feb. 16. The ninetieth session of ASUN has not met requirements for filled seats and will be holding a special election starting on April 4.

Dawson Frost, co-director of elections, announced on March 30 at the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Senate meeting that a special election will be held to fill vacant Senate seats.

Election season for ASUN ended on March 10. However, they did not fill the required number of senate seats. Only 13 senators were elected for the ninetieth session, which left 12 seats vacant; five more must be elected to reach two-thirds of the senate body.

As mentioned in the ASUN Constitution: “[w]hen one-third of the Senate is vacant, the Senate shall fill such vacancies by special election, to be held as the Senate by law provides.”

The filing period for the special election starts on April 4 at 8 a.m. and will end on April 8 at 5 p.m.

The open seats are as follows: three seats for the College of Business; two seats for the College of Agriculture. Biotechnology and Natural Resources; one seat for the College of Education; one seat for the College of Engineering; one seat for the College of Liberal arts; one seat for the College of Science; one seat for the School of Medicine and Orvis School of Medicine; one seat for the School of Public Health; one seat for the Reynolds School of Journalism.

“Currently every college, but the Division of Health Sciences, has vacant seats and three colleges will have no one at the table to represent them,” said Frost in a statement sent to The Nevada Sagebrush. “With so many vacancies in the upcoming session, the Senate will be operating without the diversity of experience that is needed for it to be operating at its best.”

The reason as to why so few people ran is something Frost claimed to still be grappling with, attributing most to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think that it comes down to this being the first year back on campus and students still finding their footing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Frost in his statement. “Only students who began their education in the Fall of 2018 or earlier have experienced a full year of in-person learning, and this has borne a cost to our university’s civic memory.”

Voting for the special elections will take place on PackLife on April 20 at 8 a.m. and end on April 21 at 5 p.m.

Emerson Drewes can be reached via email at edrewes@sagebrush.unr.edu or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes.