The Students’ Association Senate adopted a series of bylaws that are intended to ease the operation of its legislative and executive branches, as well as elections.

These bylaws will supplement the new constitution that was certified in late February.

Much of the debate focused on bylaws affecting next year’s elections. Among those was the issue of whether or not the presidential and vice presidential candidates should run together or on separate tickets. This year, candidates ran on the same ticket.

Some of those in favor of separate tickets were concerned that by not allowing candidates to run separately, those who are unable to find a suitable running mate would be discouraged from participating in the presidential elections.

“Each person should be elected on their own merit,” SA Deputy Speaker and senior Becca Wolfson said. “Not on the merit of the person they’re running with.”

After much debate, the motion failed. Some senators feared that separate elections would lead to a lack of unity within the executive branch.

“I think [separate elections] are going to be a step backwards,” SA Senator and junior Tyson Ford said. “You wouldn’t want to work one-on-one with a person if you didn’t choose them.”

An amendment was passed in favor of plurality versus majority voting in future presidential elections.

If a candidate is elected by plurality, he or she is elected by winning more votes than any other candidate.

SA President and senior Pete Nabozny also mentioned instant runoff voting as a future idea.

Instant runoff voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, so that in instances where there is no majority winner, a runoff recount can be conducted to determine which candidate is favored by most voters.

“The additional runoff election will give the candidates additional legitimacy,” Ford said.

Those in favor of instant runoff voting faced opposition by those who worried about complicated a process that has experienced problems in the past.

“Let’s have one election and whoever gets the most votes wins,” Nabozny said.

In addition to bylaws concerning elections several bylaws were passed involving the maintenance of the executive branch. Despite opposition from Nabozny, a motion was passed for the official creation of a cabinet.

“While I believe every President should have a cabinet, I also think that by leaving the establishment of a cabinet outside the bylaws, you ensure the President has to work directly with the Senate and avoid acrimony between the branches,” Nabozny said.

This amendment passed with an overwhelming majority.

Some of the arguments in favor of the official creation of the cabinet had less to do with the actual function of government and more to with the hopes of encouraging the student body to participate in the SA.

“We have to have a mechanism to let volunteers get involved [in government] without being elected,” SA Senator and senior Alex Brody said. “There has to be a way for people to get involved.”

Nabozny echoed the need for more student participation in government.

“There’s always going to be a need to bring people into student government,” he said.

In addition to these bylaws, which were written and revised repeatedly over a six-month period, Policy and Procedure Manuals will also be drafted to further outline the roles of each part of the government.

The PPMs will further clarify the duties and means of action for the senate, committees and the executive branch.

Gorode can be reached at kgorode@campustimes.org.



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