Unexpected Class of 2017 Vacancy on College Council

Katherine Shen leaves an unexpected vacancy in the Class of 2017 College Council.

By Jamie Ehrlich

Update (12:10 p.m.): Katherine Shen told The Maroon that this is "special case" because she did not know if she would be abroad this quarter until after eighth week last Spring. "There is no precedenct for something like this, and I have been working with SG and CLI to figure out the best way moving forward."

There will be an unexpected vacancy on College Council (CC) for the Class of 2017.

Katherine Shen, who was elected in the spring to be a representative for the Class of 2017, failed to nominate a “Declared Proxy” for her fall quarter abroad by eighth week of spring quarter, the deadline in Article II Section 6 of the College Council bylaws.

When a CC seat becomes vacant, the position goes to the next-highest vote getter. Only four candidates ran for the four 2017 CC seats; therefore there will be a special election to fill Shen’s seat. Shen can run for her CC seat from abroad, but she must announce on the ballot that she is abroad per Article II Section 6.

The CC bylaws state that once the CC chair announces a vacancy, likely in this case through a class-wide email, a special election will be held within five days of the announcement.

“To my [knowledge], there is not precedent for a situation like this,” said Student Government Parliamentarian Max Freedman.

In the spring, Shen was also elected as the interim chair of CC, which fourth-year representative Peggy Xu has been occupying since Shen decided to study abroad. Once the full CC is able to convene with newly elected Class of 2020 representatives after their election October 14, CC will elect a permanent chair. This leaves another vacancy to be filled by the next-highest vote recipient of the class of the elected chair. If the chair is a member of the Class of 2017, there will be a second special election.

Katherine Shen did not immediately respond to request for comment.