SG amends rules on mid year vacancies

SG representative: Current system for electing fill-in reps “perpetuates apathy…in Student Government.”

By Sarah Manhardt

College Council (CC) passed three amendments Wednesday regarding its policies on vacancies after facing two unexpected vacancies this year.

CC discussed an amendment addressing general vacancies, debating between holding a special election with petitions or establishing some application or requirement, or preserving the current system. Currently, general vacancies are filled by interested students presenting their position to CC on a specified date. The CC then questions them and votes on candidates. Class of 2015 representative Ione Barrows and Class of 2016 representative Mark Sands supported holding a special election, while Class of 2014 representatives Ben Hammer and Mark Reid, among others, opposed changing the current system.

Barrows, who joined Student Government this year by filling a vacancy, supported a special election in order to better represent the student body.

“The fact that the student body isn’t called to elect its own just perpetuates apathy and the lack of investment in Student Government on this campus,” she said.

CC voted to preserve the current system, and, according to the resolution, imposed the additional requirement of filling out an application “remarking on their qualifications.” The requirements of the application are left to the discretion of the chair. Nine representatives voted in favor, one opposed, and one abstained.

CC also passed an amendment regarding filling the vacancies left by the CC chair, who presides over CC meetings. After spring quarter elections, CC votes on a chair from the elected members, leaving one vacancy. As with all other vacancies, interested students present to CC, which votes on candidates to fill the position.

Current CC Chair Mike Viola proposed two resolutions, one to fill the position with the runner-up from the chosen CC Chair’s year in the spring quarter election and the other to fill the position with an open election. CC voted in favor of filling the vacancy with the runner-up, with 11 votes in favor, one vote in opposition, and one vote in abstention. If the runner-up declines the position, CC will fill the position following the general vacancy policy.

CC also changed the wording of a bylaw regarding its first meeting of the year, allowing the first meeting to be held no later than six days after first-year elections, rather than three, which would have been impossible because CC meetings must occur at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. The measure passed unopposed.