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Senate considers amending petition process

| Wednesday, November 16, 2022

This Wednesday, the Notre Dame student senate passed resolutions focused on amending the University constitution to address student petitions and improve the student government election process.

The senate first discussed a resolution put forth by the Committee on the Constitution to table a vote on SO 2233-10b, which would amend Article XIV of the University constitution. The amendment would force the senate to consider a petition if a simple majority of the student population supports it, assuming at least 20% of the student body participates in the vote, as opposed to the current two-thirds majority needed to force the senate to consider a resolution now.

Student Union parliamentarian Jared Schlachet argued that more time was necessary to hold a vote on the amendment. 

“We found that that entire article was just poorly written and things aren’t defined in ways that they should be, like the way that we use the term ‘initiatives.’ It’s just not a proper way to use the term as it is used in the constitution. So basically, the recommendation is essentially to look at that whole section and basically clarify it,” Schlachet said.

The senate voted overwhelmingly to table the resolution for now.

The senate then moved on to SO 2223-13, introduced by Judicial Council president Madison Nemeth, which proposed amending Article XV of the constitution to change the date of distribution of petitions as well as elections for student body president and vice President. 

Currently, the constitution states that petitions for presidential and vice presidential elections should be submitted on the first Tuesday of classes in the spring semester and elections should take place by March 3 of that year. The amendment proposes moving the date for petitions to the first Wednesday of classes after spring break. 

“The petitions are out without the Judicial Council ever officially giving [the candidates] the election rules,” Nemeth said. “It’s better if we hold the information session and they can ask us the questions.”

Nemeth also said senate elections are held on March 8 and logistically it would be easier if presidential elections were held on the same date. The resolution also passed.

In the coming weeks, resolutions will be discussed to increase LGBTQ+, racial and ethnic minority representation in the University Counseling Center and to recognize Workers’ Appreciation Week.

Contact Liam Kelly at [email protected].

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