SGA alters election rules for next year

(GRAPHIC/ Kathleen Egbert)
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Asem Abdelfattah

Staff Writer

Many amendments to the Student Government Association’s Code of Laws, one of the two governing documents of the Senate, were passed including amendments that would affect Homecoming court, elections and Freshman Forum.

Laken Berry, a junior social work major from Athens and vice president of Legislative Affairs-Elect, said that the aim of the amendments is to make the Code of Laws up-to-date with all the changes and easier to interpret and follow.

“When we were working on the amendments, we wanted a fresh start for next year’s Senate,” Berry said. “We wanted to start next year with a solid foundation.

“I think that the Code of Laws is now more clear, concise and followable,” Berry said.

Jonathan Williams, a public administration graduate student and chair of the constitution and rules committee, said that the amendments to laws regarding elections ensure fairness and efficiency.

Berry agreed with Williams and added that the amendments were necessary because a lot has changed with the elections process, namely with the voting shifting to completely online.

“Some election laws were based on students voting in the SGA office like the law that candidates can’t campaign in TC area to insure fair voting,” Berry said. “However, we don’t vote in the office anymore, and therefore that law was amended to only include a restriction on campaigning in the SGA office only.

“Also, because of the online voting system, we added a law prohibiting candidates from setting up voting stations to ensure that every student can vote without any pressures.”

Freshman Forum laws also saw some amendments. According to Williams and Berry, Freshman Forum has been a vital part of SGA this year which inspired the new amendments.

“The Freshman Forum started as a small branch of SGA, but over the years it has grown so much, and especially this year they did an outstanding job with hosting events and engaging with the Trojan community,” Berry said. “The amendment gives Freshman Forum 10 more seats to increase their manpower, gives it a little more defined structure and further clarifies how Freshman Forum Directors are selected.”

Homecoming court laws got amends that, according to Williams and Berry, made things easier and fairer.

“Everything is essentially the same except homecoming queen candidates will go through just one interview after a preliminary screening based on their application, resume and a recommendation,” Williams said. “This new process makes it easier for the candidates and the judges, and it also gives all the candidates an equal chance with interviews.”

“Also, we decided to change the Maid’s Court to Junior Court,” Berry said. “Junior court candidates will only go through the preliminary screening and a popular vote, but not an interview.”

Avalon Dudinsky, a junior marketing major from Panama City, Florida, and chair of Relay for Life committee, said that $15,837.35 was raised which goes towards the American Cancer Society.

The constitution for the Pre-Pharmacy Club has been passed.

SGA Senate elections were held on Wednesday, April 12. The results are shown in the graphic above.