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Group changes voting method

| Wednesday, January 29, 2014

At Wednesday’s senate meeting, the student group passed two resolutions proposing amendments to the student government constitution.
The first resolution, written and presented by Judicial Council president Michael Masi, proposes to amend the constitution so the Judicial Council president would be responsible for “verifying the validity of all votes cast in any election.”

“I know that some people are nervous about giving all the power to one person,” Masi said.

The goal, he said, is to make the process more efficient by having one person in charge of recording and verifying the votes.

The amendment would also require that dorms comply with the constitution by running hall elections through the Judicial Council, Masi said. In 2013, 23 out of the 29 residence halls did so, and Masi said he hopes to have all 29 on board for the 2014 election.

With the amendment, all elections this year would take place through Google docs, which would be set up by an independent netID that only the Judicial Council president and his Student Activities Office (SAO) advisor would have access to.

Department of Internal Affairs director Daniel Colston also produced and presented an amendment which came up for vote at Wednesday’s meeting. This amendment establishes a “48-hour rule” that will apply to future resolutions and agendas for the Senate.

Colston said when resolutions have been circulated too soon to their votes, “ability to make an informed vote — based on what your constituents want — was impaired,” because the senators did not have time to think them over and present them at their individual hall councils.

Earlier versions of the constitution had a “three-day rule” in place, but the new amendment calls for only 48 hours in order to give student body vice president Nancy Joyce as well as other members of the cabinet time to put together the necessary documents.

In the event of an emergency, the amendment stipulates that a resolution may be voted upon without prior notice if the members of student senate unanimously agree that it should be voted upon, particularly in cases where the senate wishes to express its appreciation, support of or congratulations to a group or person in a timely manner.

The group also discussed several upcoming student government events. The student body debate between presidential and vice-presidential candidates will take place Monday in the basement of LaFortune Student Center. Information sessions for those interested in running for class council will be held Tuesday, Feb. 4, and elections for student body president will take place Wednesday, Feb. 5.

About Margaret Hynds

Margaret is a senior Political Science major and the former Editor-in-Chief of The Observer. She hails from Washington, D.C., and is a former Phox of Pangborn Hall. Follow Margaret on Twitter @MargaretHynds

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