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Senate – Ticket exchange approved

Amanda Michaels | Thursday, November 11, 2004

Senators approved a resolution for a men’s basketball ticket exchange program and discussed an amendment to the student union constitution that changes election rules at Student Senate Wednesday.

One week after concerns about the men’s basketball ticket distribution were discussed at Senate, the university affairs committee came back with a resolution that would help resolve the problem of connecting students with unused tickets to those without.

Zahm senator Mike McGinley presented the resolution, speaking to the importance of swift implementation.

“The faster we get tickets into the hands of students and those students fill up empty seats at games, the better,” McGinley said.

The Ticket Share Program works with residence halls to provide a central location for students to exchange extra tickets. If hall governments decide to take advantage of the optional program, student government will provide a banner that has a “give” and “take” section for each game, with space for the students’ names, room numbers and phone numbers.

The resolution specifies that the Ticket Share Program is designed to be a free exchange, and that exchanges in one dorm are not limited to residents of that dorm.

Off-campus students can use the Off-campus Web site as their exchange system.

“Handing dorms a program that will work is the best idea for the situation, and shows that student government cares,” Badin senator Lizzi Shappell said.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Senate also discussed an amendment to the section of the student union constitution about general student body elections, but it could not be fully debated or voted on because of Senate rules.

The changes mainly concern write-in candidates and run-off elections.

Under current rules, write-in candidates – those who missed the deadline to appear on the ballot or switched tickets – need only 150 signatures on a petition to be approved.

The amended rule requires 50 percent of the required signatures for the position to be submitted. That would mean in the presidential race that requires 700 signatures for a candidate to appear on the ballot, a write-in candidate would need 350.

A second change removes the option for abstention from the runoff ballot.

“Given what happened last year [when abstention received 8 percent in the runoff, giving neither candidate a majority], it would be better if abstention was not an option,” Siegfried senator and vice presidential candidate in last year’s election James Leito said. “We will have a primary with the option to abstain, but in a runoff election, students should just choose between the two remaining candidates or not vote.”

The amendment also gives Senate the power to decide the election only in the event of an absolute tie in voting in the runoff – as opposed to the absence of a majority for either candidate – removes the obligation of senators to vote according to the breakdown of their respective dorms in that event.

There was debate over releasing senators of this obligation, but it was emphasized by a number of senators that the event of an absolute tie was very unlikely.

“The goal here is to make it so the person with the most votes always wins,” student body president Adam Istvan said of the amendment.

Debate on the amendment will continue next Wednesday.