The Saint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) held its final meeting of the academic year Wednesday to discuss and vote on the bylaws and election policies for SGA.
The board decided it wanted to increase the number of candidates running for elected positions and also the number of students voting in those elections.
One of the concerns about the rules was the timing of elections. Sophomore class president Nicole Gans said elections had been held too close to finals.
“When students are as busy as they are during the end of the year, they don’t have the time to read about who is running, let alone to run themselves,” Gans said. “The timing really diminishes involvement.”
Many board members thought that having the candidates commit to the next year too early would be a bad idea. Junior Megan Griffin, executive treasurer, said having the elections at that time was good because the people running for office would have to be upholding their responsibilities throughout the year, even during stressful times.
Junior Laura Smith, SGA vice president, said the elections would be held the week before Spring Break, which will make next year’s elections a bit earlier than those in the past.
SGA president Rachael Chesley, a junior, also said the board the candidates would be informed of the election rules and requirements two weeks before the election.
She said this would give candidates more time to prepare and the student body more time to learn about their platforms.
The minimum 3.0 GPA requirment to run for office was also debated. Many of the officers felt the requirement should be lowered because it could get more students interested and involved in the election process. However, others felt this would be lowering the standard too much.
“The average GPA at Saint Mary’s is 3.17,” junior Emily Skirtich, executive secretary, said. “The requirement is already below that and so I think it would be a bad idea to lower it further. We don’t want our representatives to be below average.”
The board voted to keep the required GPA to run at 3.0. After voting on these stipulations, the board passed the bylaws and election rules for the upcoming year. SGA will have its next meeting in the 2010 fall semester.