Portland State University students may not be going to the polls this April for the student body election.
On the first day of spring term, three members of the newly formed Elections Committee, Shawn Marks, Paul Paris and Nikole Cheron, resigned from their positions. This could postpone the elections because in order to have an election there has to be an elections committee.
The three former members stated the reasons for their resignations in a letter addressed to the Senate and the Executive Staff of ASPSU.
“First and foremost we feel that the assembly of the committee at such a late date did not give us adequate time to promote and procure the information we need to run a fair election. Secondly, the formation of the committee around dead week did not give the student body adequate time to learn about the election and apply for canidacy.”
According to the constitution, the Election Committee is to be appointed by the student body president during fall term. This Election Committee was not a working body until the week before winter term finals.
One of the main functions of the Election Committee is to promote the elections and to give information to those who are interested in running for office.
“The only people that know [about the elections] are people who are already involved and that is crap,” said student body vice president, Chris Sparks.
In a meeting that was intended to be an orientation for the candidates Sparks informed the candidates about the current state of the elections.
“This won’t be as nearly as bumpy as some people seem to think it will be,” Sparks said.
The election was to take place April 18 and 19. If the election is moved the dates being looked at are May 14 and 15.
In another portion of the letter Marks, Paris and Cheron addressed changing the election dates.
“We feel that holding the elections the third week in April would unfairly bias those who were aware of the constitution guidelines. We can not in good conscience proceed with the election as the committee if the third week in April rule is upheld.”
Marks said that the Portland State University lawyers support changing the election dates.
Sparks said that an emergency senate meeting is in order. The issues must go the Senate so that they can decide whether or not to move back the election dates or to appoint a new elections committee all together.
If the elections are moved to a later date then the elections committee members who recently resigned would need to be reinstated.