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SGA expedites filing dates

Published: Friday, September 21, 2012

Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 01:09

In a last-minute adjustment, Student Government Association Election Commission sent an email to The Battalion Wednesday evening stating filing dates for fall elections would be moved to begin Thursday instead of Monday.

The elections will fill the two freshman Senate seats, as well as elect the freshman class president. And, unlike last fall, vacancies in Senate will be filled through an election instead of an application process.

After SGA held an internal affairs meeting Thursday night, it was determined that eight caucuses will have at least one open seat, including University Apartments, Off-Campus and six colleges: Veterinary Medicine, Business, General Studies, Education, Engineering and Architecture.

Historically, vacancies were filled by an application and interview process. The candidate was ultimately decided on by SGA officers. Opening Senate vacancies to an election allows caucus constituents outside SGA to vote in candidates.

Filing originally was set to open Monday, Sept. 24, and close Sept. 27. Election Commissioner Allison Krenzien said the Election Commission changed the filing dates because the original election schedule was not in compliance with the election rules and regulations.

Filing now ends Monday at 3 p.m. and campaigning will begin Oct. 1. The campaign period was shortened from one week to three days.

The rule states the Election Commission must post the final ballot for an election at least four class days before the election. The previously scheduled filing dates — Sept. 24 to 27 — ran too close to the election.

“The seats need to be filled soon because Senators need to start fulfilling their roles,” Speaker of Student Senate Scott Bowen said. “We need to get the ball rolling.”

Bowen said the entire student body will have the opportunity to run for vacant Senate seats.

“Now, open vacancies in Senate are filled by elections instead of by interviews,” he said. “It gives the student body the additional opportunity to participate in choosing who their representation is for the year.”

The difference in this fall election and previous elections is that upperclassmen can vote, because vacancies have been opened to an election.

Students within the colleges who have vacant seats or who live at University Apartments or off-campus can file to run for Student Senate. More seats may become available. Vacancies are created when senators resign or are removed from their positions due to excessive absences.

Freshman mathematics major Patrick O’Neal said the election filing dates were not publicized enough. He said the lack of publicity and the change of election filing dates will make it more difficult for candidates who are not “in the know within Student Government” to file for candidacy.

“This makes it even harder for some of the less-informed potential candidates,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said he still expects to see a lot of qualified candidates run for Senate.

“At the same time, I don’t think it is the end of the world. I think that there is still going to be a lot of fantastic candidates,” O’Neal said.

 

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