The spring student body elections are coming a month later this year. The elections will occur on May 14, 15 and 16.
In an emergency meeting last Thursday, the senate unanimously voted to change the election dates from the middle of April to the middle of May.
It is a violation of the Portland State constitution not to have the elections the third week in April. However, the constitution is already in violation.
According to the constitution, the student body president appoints an election committee every fall term. There must be an committee to have an election. This year’s committee was not a working body until the week before winter term finals.”You [ASPSU] didn’t follow the constitution in fall … the appropriate remedy is to make it the most fair to the most people,” said Margaret Banyon, assistant director of the student development office and adviser to ASPSU.
Nikole Cheron, an elections committee member, said that the committee did not have any advertisement at the end of winter term, leaving no time for elections promotions.
Under the original election dates, students would have had to decide that they were going to run for a student government position and turn in an application and statement of application that same day.
Last week three members of the elections committee resigned, which essentially put a halt on the elections. Cheron, Shawn Marks and Paul Paris all resigned because they decided they did not have adequate time to promote and execute a fair election.
They were willing to be reinstated to the committee if the elections would be moved to a later date.
Since the election dates have been moved, Cheron, Marks and Paris were appointed and reinstated back to the elections committee at the senate meeting. Billy Taylor and Amina Senge were also appointed to committee.
Banyon said the changing of the dates was the appropriate thing to do considering the current situation. Banyon warned the senate that they are open to complaints either way.
One of the reasons for the mid-May election dates, is that the Elections Committee Amendments state that a candidate orientation “shall be no later than thirty (30) days prior to the election.” The orientation will now take place April 13 and 19.
To run for an elected office in the student government, an application of candidacy must be filled out. In addition to completion of the application, a statement of candidacy must also be submitted.
Application and statement of candidacy are due in printed and electronic form by 5 p.m. on April 19.
The election committee will issue an all-campus memo to faculty to notify the changes in election dates.
The online elections will now start May 14 at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. May 16. The online Web site to cast votes is http://banweb.pdx.edu.
The votes can be cast from any computer. The Elections Committee will provide two computer stations in Smith Memorial Center for voting.
At that same senate meeting, some of the wording was changed to the Election Committee Amendments for the spring term elections. The purpose of the changes was to clarify any confusing language and not to change the election code.