Arts & Sciences revamps election process

By on January 27, 2015
SGA update

Get your voting skills revved up again. The Arts & Sciences council just got an updated ruling for this year’s elections.

For the university’s Arts & Sciences student council, the SGA Supreme Court announced last Tuesday that they would have a renewed election style.

Originally a new measure for the 2014 elections, the case revolved around the election process by which officials in the arts and sciences council were elected.

Victoria Allen, SGA Arts & Sciences President, stated that the election process was previously done by blind application.  “It was very discrete, and entirely based on merit. Technically speaking, it was not constitutional.”

The application was based online and could be found on the SGA website. From there, the outgoing and incoming presidents and vice presidents, along with senior members of the A&S senate would look through the applications. This would all be overseen by the A&S justice on the student government’s court.

SGA Chief Justice Ben Shepard detailed why this process was unconstitutional.

“The way we went about resolving this case was looking at the SGA constitution and bylaws. The documents use the word election to refer to how SGA senators are to be selected.”

“Using that as our template, we concluded that an application wasn’t an election process.”

Current student government laws dictate that students have the right to an election by the general student body. Thus, this conflict was brought to a court hearing Jan. 9, and decided upon on the 20th.

For the 2015 elections, A&S senators will be back on a general election schedule. Allen stated that an internal election would have been done, though time constraints prevented this.

“I was uncomfortable with how much time we had. We’re on a time crunch, and I don’t think we could have done an internal election.”

Allen went on to say , “I feel there are certain parts of the constitution that discriminate against students. Like there is a financial obligation otherwise, and you have to have a certain amount of social capital. I thought that the best way to circumvent that would be to put them back in the general body election for the time being.”

“However, I hope to see a revised constitution, and see elections done a little bit differently next year.”

The Arts & Sciences council is not alone in looking at their constitutions. Allen believes the other councils might be revising theirs. As for the 2015 elections, Allen stated that it has become increasingly popular over the years for councils to have internal elections.

 

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