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SGA changes election laws

By Kara McGrath, Staff Writer

The Student Government Association had two meetings on Tuesday night, as they needed to pass legislation in time for Thursday night's declaration meeting. Chairman Luke Miedreich and Comptroller Brian Marquis submitted a proposal which would eliminate the need for SGA presidency and vice-presidency candidates to get signatures from University students. Miedreich said that he believed this change would be beneficial because candidates would campaign face-to-face with students because they want to, not because they need to get signatures. In the past, students running needed to get at least 10% of the undergraduate population's signature in order to be a candidate.

The proposal also increased the number of votes needed for the presidency/vice-presidency to 500 votes, with Senators needing 100 votes to be elected. Miedreich said this will also encourage face-to-face campaigning. All students running will begin their campaign four business days after the declaration meeting, which is to be held Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. This proposal was passed unanimously by the Senate, without any debate. The current SGA Vice President, Akeem Mellis, said afterwards that he was "surprised that there was no debate" and that he believed the proposal deserved some debate, since it was such a massive move. He is personally against this amendment to the Constitution and believes it was done mostly "for convenience's sake and to save time and energy."

However, most Senators are in favor of the change.Senator Max Greenfield feels that it will be more beneficial to the voters, since candidates will have to meet face-to-face and build a relationship with other students to get their 100 or 500 votes.

Miedreich then moved to end the meeting and start an Emergency Senate meeting directly afterward in order for the proposal to be passed before the declaration meeting. This motion was passed, and so the emergency meeting began with one resolution and one proposal from Senator Jared Berry. His resolution would make the elections signature process digital, but since signatures had just been eliminated from the campaign process, this resolution was not passed. His proposal asked to amend the Constitution so that campaign flyers would not be allowed to be hung off campus. After an amendment, suggested by Senator Andrew Lerner, to limit this restriction to off-campus business establishments (so flyers could still be hung on private residences), the proposal was passed by the Senate.

The Senate also passed two new clubs: The National Society of Leadership and Success and Hofstra for the Homeless. The National Society of Leadership and Success plans to help students recognize and achieve their goals, and act as a community for students who wish to succeed. Hofstra for the Homeless hopes to provide children without homes with support to grow and thrive as individuals.

Comptroller Brian Marquis again wishes to remind everyone that the last day to turn in your proposals for Budget Weekend (without getting a fine) is March 26.

Student Government Association Senators debate legislation at their weekly meeting on Tuesday in the Student Center Greenhouse. (David Gordon/The Chronicle)

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