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Senate nixes elections for SUB representatives, solidifies election reimbursement

The Notre Dame student senate convened Wednesday night to pass resolutions to eliminate Student Union Board (SUB) representatives as elected positions, adjust funding rules for diverse student clubs and clarify the usage of funds for campaign reimbursements. 

Senate approves change in SUB representative elections 

SUB executive director Rachel Dorfner presented SO 2223-21, an order to amend laws in the constitution stating that SUB dorm representatives must be elected by a hall-wide election and may not exceed one representative per residence hall.

Under the new order, an internal application process will replace the elections and allow for potentially more than one representative to serve each dorm community.

Dorfner said the resolution was conceived since SUB has struggled to retain dorm representatives for the full election term. Based on a survey of SUB representatives with a 45% response rate, Dorfner said many elected representatives cited “wanting a hall government position” as the reason they ran for the position. 

In addition, Dorfner said many did not realize the commitments inside of SUB that come with the role, such as joining committees. 

“We see a lot of people wanting to get involved in their own [hall] government and did not realize that that also constitutes a large involvement in SUB,” Dorfner said. “In fact, one person actually said ‘I don’t like the required participation in SUB.’”

Dorfner hopes with the internal application, SUB will attract students interested to do all the work required for the role.

Judicial Council president Madison Nemeth supported the amendment and noted that the ultimate goal of the resolution is to have engaged representatives. 

“We’ve consistently been re-electing somewhere around since the first week on campus because we had people who ran last year and then didn’t respond to our committee requests,” Nemeth said. “From an election perspective, ideally, it would be one of each dorm, but for some dorms, there’s absolutely nobody who wants to do it.”

The number of SUB dorm representatives is not expected to significantly increase or decrease because of this order, Dorfner said. 

After brief debate, the resolution overwhelmingly passed.

Clause on cultural club funding repealed, election funding clarified 

Under the Constitution, ethnic student organizations are eligible for funding from the Club Coordination Council (CCC) given that their programming promotes “greater cultural awareness and understanding within the Notre Dame community.” Resolution SO 2223-18 repeals this clause with the argument that no other category of clubs must adhere to these guidelines to receive funding. 

CCC president Connor Patrick presented the order. With no debate or questioning, the resolution unanimously passed.

The third resolution debated that night clarified how election candidates are reimbursed for campaign expenses. SO 2223-19 is meant to remove confusion that might prevent Judicial Council from constitutionally reimbursing candidates for election campaign funds, executive controller Kevin Wang said. 

No clubs or organizations may use allocated or unallocated funding from the Financial Management Board to support a candidate for an office. With the order, an exception is written that Judicial Council may use funds to exclusively reimburse such candidates without violating the clause. 

Candidates for first-year class council, any class officer position, hall senator, hall president and vice president, Student Union Board (SUB) representatives and off-campus candidates are all guaranteed reimbursements under the Constitution. Spending limits vary depending on the position a candidate is seeking.

The resolution unanimously passed.

A fourth resolution to amend a constitutional clause on regulations and resignations did not pass a motion to move to general orders and was tabled for next week.

To close the meeting, student body vice president Sofie Stitt reminded senators that campaigning for student body president and vice president begins Tuesday.

Perspective tickets are currently petitioning for the roles and must obtain roughly 700 verified and valid signatures to get their names on the ballot. The elections will take place Feb. 8.

Contact Alysa Guffey at aguffey@nd.edu.

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