The Student Government Association fall election is going to take place a bit later than normal this year.
The voting of 15 senators and two justices, which was originally set for Nov. 10-11, has been pushed back to Dec. 1-2.
The SGA constitution calls for the fall election to take place on “the Wednesday and Thursday after the second Monday of November.” The constitution also states that the “Election Packet Rules and Guidelines must be made available to the student body no less than 28 days in advance of the election.”
However, the election packets were not made available to students until Oct. 29, just 12 days before the election date set forth in the constitution.
The student senate voted Nov. 1 in favor of postponing the election date to allow the election packets to be available for the required amount of days.
“We felt that the 28 days was more important than the date,” SGA President Andy Hixson said. “To give students ample time… is much more important than making sure that it happens on the date that’s in the constitution.”
“This should have been done a long time ago,” Sen. Mike Tobergta said.
Hixson said that the delay in the availability of election packets was largely due to the fact that the Judicial Council did not have a chief justice at the beginning of the semester.
According to the constitution, the chief justice is responsible for recommending five members for the Election Committee by the second full week of the semester. The recommended members must then be approved by a two-thirds vote of the student senate.
The committee is then responsible for making the election packets available 28 days in advance of the election.
Hixson said that this was overlooked because of the absence of a chief justice.
“Not having a chief justice threw everything off,” Sen. James Pollitt said.
Hixson said that he was required to preside as chief justice because of the vacancy, and therefore, he was responsible for putting together an election committee earlier in the semester.
“I really wasn’t aware of that. That’s my fault,” Hixson said. “It’s the president’s role to make sure everything’s working the way it should.”
However, Hixson said that this situation ultimately is not hurting anything. He said the election date set forth in the constitution is simply in there to ensure the election takes place in the fall.
“Things should be going a lot quicker, a lot smoother,” Pollitt said. “I don’t know why they’re not.”
“Hopefully the students are not going to be too upset with this,” Tobergta said. “I think they’ll be more understanding that we tried to make it so they have 28 days, and that the student body actually gets the chance to vote on the best representatives possible.”
Students seeking to become a senator or justice must submit their election packets to the Dean of Students Office by Nov. 17 at 9:59 a.m. Elected candidates will begin their term at the first SGA meeting of the spring semester.