By Brooke Moody and Olivia Krauth–

SGA is prepared for upcoming general elections after a successful trial run within the senate.

Announced tonight at the SGA Senate meeting, students will now access ballots for SGA elections via an emailed link. The link will be emailed to students Feb. 27 when voting begins, and a reminder email will be sent March 2, the last day to vote. Students used ULink to vote for candidates before now.

“The survey platform mirrors the ULink platform in the sense that it is still associated with a student’s ID number and registration information – guaranteeing that we can match a student to their appropriate ballot (depending on their college) and that we can register their vote according to their university ID info, making sure each person only gets one vote on the candidates they are eligible to vote for,” SGA Chief Justice Sarah Pennington said.

The link will also be available on the SGA website and Twitter, as well as on Blackboard. Students will have to log in using their ULink information if they are using a source other than the email link.

“These changes were made for the benefit of the students, to create an easier voting process and to potentially increase turnout. We wanted students to be able to access a link that directly took them to the ballot, rather than having to go through ULink and hunt for the correct tab,” Pennington said.

In addition to voting changes, a resolution denouncing external organizations from contributing to candidates was sent to the Executive Board for discussion. The resolution builds on a rule prohibiting internal organizations from contributing.

The resolution, co-authored by Landon Lauder, Paul Thompson and Lily Assgari, strongly discourages outside contributions, but there is no legal enforcement in the resolution.

“It is the prerogative of the student body to hold all U of L Student Government Association candidates to a high moral and ethical standard, as they would represent student interests and only student interests if elected,” the resolution said.

“If a candidate was to receive funds from an outside group or individual, they are still allowed to do that. But per SGA election rules, (they) still have to file it on the campaign value report,” Lauder said.

Each candidate is required to submit a campaign expense report, which outlines expenditures and contributions. Spending limits range from $500 to $100.

Three other resolutions were proposed, including a resolution for evaluation of professors and course practices of inclusion and diversity, a resolution to bring Belknap Campus into Americans With Disabilities Act compliance for braille and a resolution to thank former interim president Neville Pinto for his service.

The resolution addressing diversity and inclusion practices on course evaluations was sent to the Academic Committee and the resolution regarding ADA compliance was sent to the Services Committee. The senate passed the resolution thanking Pinto.

During the meeting, SGA President Aaron Vance discussed details of the upcoming Rally for Higher Education, organized by the KY Board of Student Body Presidents.

The rally will take place at the state capitol in Frankfort Feb. 13. Hundreds of students across Kentucky are expected to participate. U of L’s SAB and ELSB are providing two buses to transport students to Frankfort.

At the rally, Vance hopes to address legislation concerning students’ rights, including higher education funding, tax reform, Powerball Promise, early voting and the bathroom bill.

It was also announced that Panda Express will open Feb. 6 in the SAC, Twisted Taco will open Feb. 13 on the ground level of Louisville Hall and the Subway in Davidson Hall is expected to open at the end of February.