The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Student gov’t restructures elections

John Cameron | Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Following a resolution passed by the Student Senate before Thanksgiving break, the Judicial Council is restructuring the Elections Committee, which is responsible for ensuring the fairness of student government and Class Council elections.

Judicial Council president Marcelo Perez said the existing committee was less effective due to its large size and the fact that its members were spread across campus.

“Two weeks before Thanksgiving break, we had that resolution passed to do away with the previous elections committee that was in place, which consisted of the election commissioner from each of the dorms,” he said. “It was always hard to get them together.”

The new election committee, which will be significantly smaller, will assist in approving candidates for student government positions and dealing with accusations that may arise regarding candidates’ fitness to run for office, Perez said.

“The newly formed Elections Committee, as outlined in the constitution, will deal with the allegations that come forward during the campaign season and will help the vice president to run the elections,” Perez said. “What we did was make it a smaller group so it might be easier to get them together.”

The Judicial Council has sent out multiple solicitations to the student body looking for applicants to the reformed committee.

“We want to make sure anyone who wants to apply applies,” he said. “Sometimes if you send one e-mail people may not look at it.”

Perez said he hopes more students applying to the committee will result in a wider perspective when handling the campaign issues members face.

“You need a committee that’s not too divided but at the same time you don’t want everyone having one single opinion,” he said. “That way, if it comes to an allegation, any interpretation of the constitution is made in a fair way, that it’s not just a one-sided interpretation.”

The application to the Judicial Council is only the first step for students hoping to become part of the committee. After the Judicial Council selects applicants, they need approval by the Council of Representatives, Perez said.

The election committee falls under the Judicial Council’s responsibility of handling elections, which, paired with assisting students facing disciplinary proceedings, makes up the Council’s objectives as defined by its constitution, he said.

“I believe in the constitution it says the role of the Judicial Council is to run the elections as well as to help the student body with a better understanding of the rules as outlined in du Lac,” Perez said.