Elections board applications to close


CW File

Jackson Fuentes

For students who want to be involved with regulating SGA elections, elections board applications close on Friday, March 30. 

The board, which oversees all official elections-related activities for SGA, has a representative for every college and works to update the Elections Manual each semester. The board members also publish a working timeline for candidates so that each election runs smoothly. Board members also hand out election violations to any candidate that campaigns outside of the bounds of the Elections Manual.

The Elections Board has changed since the election of former SGA President Jared Hunter. Beginning with the resignation of the entire board, The Crimson White reported that the board felt it could not serve as a “viable entity for ensuring fair elections.” Nearly one academic year after replacing the entire board, Senator Baily Martin and Chief Justice Ellie Bowers spearheaded a constitutional amendment doubling the size of the Elections Board from six to twelve members. The legislation, which met staunch opposition from senator Michael Smith, was sent to the Senate Oversight Committee before being revised and passed. 

Senator Robert Pendley is a third year law student on the committee.

“Originally the entire elections board, except for the non-voting member, would be selected by a panel of outgoing SGA members,” Pendley said. “In committee we changed it so that half would be selected by that panel and half would be selected by the Vice President of Student Life.”

Pendley said the committee felt that edits to the amendment were fair.

“We felt like this was a good compromise between those who wanted it completely controlled by the outgoing SGA and those who wanted administrative oversight of SGA,” Pendley said. “We felt like this was a good safeguard to put in place in order to ensure that truly qualified were being selected to the Elections Board.”

Pendley also said the committee put objective qualifications in place for those seeking to be selected to the Elections Board. Students must meet a GPA and credit hour minimum, have never worked as a top official on a previous campaign and never have committed an elections violation. 

Additionally, Elections Board chair Ethan Fialkow, a senior majoring in commerce and business administration and marketing, endorsed the amendment.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Fialkow said. “You’ll have more ideas, you’ll be able to delegate more, and I think it’s just a great thing working with more people.”

Abbey Manasco, a sophomore majoring in exercise and sports science and a member of the Elections Board, supported the new amendment and outlined the application process when she was selected.

“From what I understand, they try to pick people from different grades, different majors and try to get a very well rounded group,” Manasco said. “Now with the new amendment being passed, they are going to get a larger variety of people.” 

David Grady, vice president for student life, said the changes don’t affect the application itself much. 

“There’s an application that students that are interested in serving on the Elections Board fill out,” said Grady. “It’s a similar application that we’ve done the last three years.”