SGA elections streamlined
Student Government Association (SGA) President Jake Fischer '10 opened both of the organization's meetings this semester by demanding more from the members of SGA. He expressed his "disappointment" in SGA members not "stepping up" and how doing the "bare minimum" is "not acceptable." SGA, he said, can only be successful if its members pursue their own initiatives actively.
Several representatives said they found these comments to be unsubstantiated and expressed their concerns that while the remarks could be applied to a handful of individuals, making a blanket statement about the entire association was unwarranted.
Vice President Katie Unsworth '10 also stressed that SGA's priority should be the student body. "It can become easy to focus on internal SGA reform, but our primary job is to focus on the student body and that is what we have been truly trying to do this year," she said.
Election reform was the main topic of discussion during SGA's meeting on Sunday, Feb. 14.
SGA elections will be held March 15-17 for the 2010-11 school year. Students seeking a position as president, vice-president, class president, dorm president or treasurer will announce their candidacies in the upcoming weeks.
Election reforms outline campaigning rules. Guidelines dictate which types of posters that students may campaign with, where candidates may campaign and who on SGA will orchestrate elections. The guidelines were unanimously accepted by SGA.
The student government also unanimously passed the "SGA Elections Process Proposal" brought to the forum by Peter Landsman '12, dorm president of Sturtevant. The proposal seeks to "increase the number of qualified candidates running for Dorm Presidency" and address specific concerns raised within SGA. Dorm presidential elections will still be held in the spring and candidates will still be elected by their dorm mates. However, given that the constituent base within a specific residence hall will shift, often drastically, between the election and the following school year, dorm president-elects will not be tied to the dorm in which they campaign. Instead, dorm president-elects will go through a housing lottery process first based on seniority and then on the number of terms served on SGA.
Landsman said he believes this change will attract candidates who "want to be on SGA for the right reasons and who are qualified."
The table around which the President's Council sat on Sunday, February 14 in the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center was emptier usual as six dorm presidential positions need to be filled. Three of the seats were filled in its most recent meeting, held Sunday, Feb. 23. SGA passed the motion to approve the following dorm president appointments made by the SGA Executive Board: Shireen Smalley '13 (Treworgy), John Williams '13 (Woodman) and Coyne Lloyd '11 (Dana).
There were no elections for these spots, as there was only one residence hall where more than one student expressed interest in filling the position. Instead Fischer and Unsworth interviewed the candidates.