How to Become the Future President of the University of Akron Undergraduate Student Government


All of the formal candidates and board members for this year, 2023, at the Presidential Debate on Monday, March 6. Courtesy of USGUA

By Laurie-Anne Renaud, Contributor

Have you ever wondered how you can become the president of your college’s Undergraduate Student Government? The process and steps to go through often seem to be unknown to college students.   

Knowing what the next student president went through might interest students and help them make the decision to run for office. 

At The University of Akron, elections for campus leadership in USG began Monday, March 13, through Wednesday, March 15. While some may have been aware of the election, the process and all the involvement around an electoral campaign is often overlooked. 

 In reality, it is a lengthy, time-consuming process. It requires a lot of patience, communication, and organizational skills. The upside, though, is the potential to make a difference as a student leader.  

 In fact, Blake Smith, one of the candidates in this year’s election, went through every step of the journey.  

He had to submit his name, student ID number, UA email address, and a short bio of his project plans and ideas. Finally, he had to share his platform. He and his VP candidate Kaden Rupert had to put their ideas out to the public.  

He also mentioned that candidates have to be in good standing with UA, have a good GPA, and pay any outstanding bills to the university that has not been paid. 

After submitting this form and being accepted, a candidate moves on to the next step.  

Candidates must attend election board meetings where the election board explains the rules and make sure the candidates understand and agree to them.  

Then, the candidates on the Presidential/Vice Presidential ticket need to collect 200 student signatures to appear on the ballot. Students running to be senators must collect 75 signatures to appear on the ballot. 

 After successfully applying, candidates for president must participate in a presidential debate where they respond to predetermined questions from the board and also questions from the audience. 

 “I have learned public speaking skills that I had not possessed before,” Rupert said. 

 Another event in which they are required to participate in is the Meet and Greet at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. At the event, the candidates have the chance to introduce themselves to people, pass out flyers and put themselves out there. A challenging part for Rupert was that he constantly heard other people’s opinions. Whether good or bad, the constant opinions took a mental toll. 

 Blake Smith expressed how busy the campaign trail is. 

“In reality, you participate in about 20 events so that you can meet as many people as you can throughout this intensive process,” Smith said.  

Quickly, the mental and physical challenges of running to be student body president become apparent. 

Candidates are still normal college students; they have classes, work, and some might want to hit the gym or spend their free time in student organizations. Students also have a social life to maintain, significant others, and families. Indeed, candidates are busy during an electoral campaign. 

Nevertheless, the beauty of the challenges and all the experience they are gaining by running for office are invaluable.  

“This experience has broadened my perspective on how elections workAll of the formal candidates and board members for this year, 2023, at the Presidential Debate on Monday, March 6. and I now know how strong you have to be to pursue something like this. At times I have wondered why I put myself through this process, but I know once it’s over that I can look back and say I had fun and I learned a lot about myself,” Rupert said. 

While the road to the ballot is an intense journey that might not be what people think it is, candidates grow from it and try to enjoy it as they are giving it their all to win their election. 

Students at The University of Akron received an invitation to their UA email address Monday, March 13, inviting them to vote. The candidates for Student Body President were Alia Baig and Blake Smith. The candidates for Vice President were Cam Feezel and Kaden Rupert. 

On Friday, March 17, Alia Baig and Cam Feezel were named the presidential and vice-presidential Undergraduate Student Government election winners.  

 Learn more about how Undergraduate Student Government works and what they do for students and the campus at  

 Those looking to run can find the complete election rules on the UA website.