SA holds special election Nov. 2: Three class of 2020 senators plan to resign

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Three Class of 2020 senators announce their resignation as they prepare to study abroad in the upcoming spring semester. SYDNEY MCCOURT / THE FLAT HAT

At the end of a weekly Student Assembly meeting Oct. 9, three class of 2020 senators announced they would resign, effective later in the semester. Sen. Abhi Chadha ’20, Sen. Clare DaBaldo ’20 and Sen. Sarah MacPhee ’20 all announced that they would vacate their positions later in the semester to study abroad during the spring semester. Now, the class of 2020 is hosting a special election to fill the upcoming vacancies. 

Usually, when senators campaign in the spring semester, it is with the understanding that they will remain in their elected positions until the following election cycle. Chief of Staff Rachel Becker ’19 reminded Chadha, DaBaldo and MacPhee of this precedent after they announced their resignation. 

“… I am just curious, why you ran [if you were planning on going abroad],” Becker said. “… I am not asking you to justify it; it would just mean a lot if you could recognize that this does impact Student Assembly. This is huge.” 

“So I served on Honor Council, and for us, it was a huge, huge no-no to run if you were going abroad … I am just curious, why you ran [if you were planning on going abroad],” Becker said. “… I am not asking you to justify it; it would just mean a lot if you could recognize that this does impact Student Assembly. This is huge.” 

DaBaldo said that while she could not speak for all three, her personal decision to study abroad was not finalized until after she was re-elected. She also said that going abroad fulfilled something very important to her, and that while she is dedicated to SA, she believes that spending a semester abroad is in her best interest. 

One of the first items of business after the announcement of the three senators’ resignation was deciding how to fill their leadership positions within SA committees. To speed this up, Chadha, MacPhee and DaBaldo resigned from their positions on the senate committees. Sen. Jessica Seidenberg ’19 was elected as chair of the senate finance committee after Chadha resigned from that position. 

Sen. Anthony Joseph ’21 was elected as chair of the senate public affairs committee to replace MacPhee after she resigned. On the senate outreach committee, Sen. Kyle Vasquez ’21 was elected to replace DaBaldo as chair. 

After addressing these committee positions, members of SA introduced the next step: electing three new senators to represent the class of 2020. 

Class of 2020 President Kelsey Vita and Senate Chair Ellie Thomas ’20 called a special election. Members of the class of 2020 will vote Thursday, Nov. 2.

There are currently 11 candidates running for these positions: Zie Medrano ’20, Jaret Anderson ’20, Caroline Garman ’20, Maddie Talnagi ’20, Samuel Towler ’20, JonDavid Nichols ’20, Cody Mills ’20, Angela Tiangco ’20, Nicholas Thomas ’20, Alicia Draper ’20 and Liz Holmes ’20.  

To call a special election, Vita had to sponsor a bill in the senate. Her bill, The Class of 2020 Special Election 2018 Act, was passed by a vote of unanimous consent Tuesday, Oct. 23. 

Beyond calling the special election, the bill charges the SA elections commission with coordinating the election, charges the resigning senators with aiding in the transition process, charges the code revision committee with updating the SA constitution and code, affirms that vacancies should not be interpreted as acceptable senator conduct and maintains that no one is eligible to seek office if they know they will not be on campus during a part of their tenure. 

“This is a positive direction for our institution,” Class of 2021 President David DeMarco ’21 said. “The code and constitution failed us here. … Our institution failed us. This showed us that we have respect for advisory boards, that we have respect for the new direction of the document that we are taking votes on. I think this is a really good way to make up for the fact that we have a failed government document.”