SA proposes review of election rules after recent campaign
Student Assembly elections Tuesday spurred a number of proposals concerning both the elections commission and the elections process.
The proposals include a possible election review committee and the SA Presidential Runoff Act.
“I am calling for the creation of a temporary committee for the senate, an election review committee,” Senate Chairman Noah Kim ’13 said. “I think that it would be good to review exactly the way in which the last election was conducted.”
This committee, if created, would review the past election process, in which a variety of complaints and violations surfaced. The election resulted in a total of 15 complaints and multiple suspensions, affecting five out of the six presidential tickets.
According to Kim, the committee would be comprised of both SA members and non-SA students. Kim stated that any interested students should contact him about the committee.
Following Kim’s suggestion, Sen. Jimmy Zhang ’15 introduced the SA Presidential Runoff Act.
“The general idea behind this bill is that we want to show majority support for the [SA] president,” Zhang said. “Taking into account the fact that we just had a very close [SA] election and multiple candidates running … we believe this is extremely important because we want the [SA] to be as responsive as possible.”
Curt Mills ’13 and Melanie Levine ’13 won the election by 36 votes. The six-candidate election was unusual; in past years, only two to three candidates have ran for the positions of SA president and vice president.
“[The bill currently] proposes a ranking system where we rank each candidate if there are multiple candidates running,” Zhang said. “It will get the [SA] candidate to be elected by majority support.”
Zhang described other ideas various SA members, including Mills, have introduced, like the institution of a system to force candidates to make more of a commitment when running for SA President, such as a requirement of 100 signatures to be on the ballot.
As of now, Zhang is unsure which ideas will make it into the final bill and is working with other SA members to finalize the bill for next week’s senate meeting.
The SA also discussed the It All Starts with You T-shirt Act II, which would fund T-shirts for the Sexual Assault Awareness Week scheduled for next week.
“They are going to say ‘Tribe’ on the front and on the back, ‘It all starts with you,’” bill sponsor and Sen. Douglas Haynes Law ’13 said. “These will be distributed at the individual events and at the tabling outside Sadler.”
Senators debated the bill as new business but decided to table the bill for further discussion in committees when questions from multiple senators arose of whether the funds should be allocated from the Student Activities reserve or the off-campus account.
“[Last year’s bill] designated half of that amount from the off-campus account, which is the appropriate place to do these kinds of projects from,” Kim said. “I’m not sure if this is the best use of the money we’ve collected from students.”
Kim reminded senators who will not be serving in the next session to make sure the pending bills have sponsors in the next session. Two senate meetings remain in the current session, before transition, scheduled for April.