SGA discusses election woes

Even with the uncertain future of the Student Government Association Spring election, some senators are trying not to see the outlook as ambiguous.

At its meeting April 27, Senator Chris Ruth questioned the outcome of the decision to void the overall election. The decision meant that the executive board, senate, judicial council and the proposed constitution would have to be re-voted on.

The Judicial Council decided to void the election after a hearing April 24. The decision came after numerous complaints were filed against the Keith Kaseke/Dennis Chaney slate for ‘corrupting the vote.’

‘This is new territory for us. I’m hoping there is another institution in the state that has gone through this and hopefully can give us some guidance,’ Dean Jeff Waple said.

Waple said there is a minimum of 10 business days for people to file an appeal after the decision to void the election. The last day would be May 8. Waple strongly advised SGA not to hold an election during finals week and to just wait until fall 2009.

‘I don’t see anyway out of holding a fall election,’ Waple said.
Instead of holding the election, Keith Kaseke proposed the possibility of just disqualifying the president and vicepresident and keeping the senate, judicial council and proposed constitution.

However, Waple said that proposal was out of SGA’s hands, adding that students can file appeals to him if they don’t like the outcome.

Ruth disagreed with the current time frame for the election arguing that SGA ‘should do something about the election’hellip; The summer is when the president does most of his work’hellip; I think it’s a bad move to have three months of inactivity.’

To speed up the process, Ruth moved to cut the 10-day appeal process in half to five days. Consequently, the proposed last day to turn in appeals would be May 1.

‘This is what I’m concerned about ‘hellip; the worst thing you can do is take away the voice of those involved and the student body,” Gabe Cronon, SGA president, said.
During a five-minute recess, the Judicial Council met with Waple and Assistant to the Dean of Students Steve Meier to see it the proposal could happen.

‘(The proposal) would be an amendment, and you’re not allowed to do that,’ said Chief Justice Sheree Davis. ‘The decision was to void the election, not to disqualify any of its members.’

Under Article 10 of the SGA constitution it states proposals ‘must receive the majority vote in a student body election, reviewed and ratified by the Vice President of Student Affairs and by the Northern Kentucky University President, and lastly passed by the Board of Regents.’

Cronon said that there is not enough time to pass such an amendment.
So in turn, the motion failed.

However, Senator Sean Henry proposed the possibility of creating an ad-hoc committee to fill the e-board during the summer to make sure business could be addressed.
Cronon said he is open to the idea of creating the committee.

‘It’s not a bad idea and it’s something I will explore,’ he said.
Cronon added that he would make a decision on whether or not he would create a committee before his last day in office.

As for the future of SGA, Waple said he doesn’t have any of the answers yet.
He added that no decision will be made on May 8 and the exact day a decision will be made is still up in the air.

In other news, SGA also passed five resolutions and tabled one.
SGA decided to table the resolution that would request ‘the addition of two scholarships for international students, following the decrease of the Scott Wurster and the Extra Needs Grant from the SGA Budget.’

Some of the senators felt as though SGA was singling out a small portion of the student body, and that it did not serve SGA’s purpose.

‘I still feel iffy about using money for a portion of students rather than the entire student body,’ Ruth said. ‘I think it would be wise to ask the university for a scholarship instead.’

However, Cronon said the idea behind the resolution was to address the student concerns that were brought to their attention.
Senator Mike Tobergta agreed with Cronon.

‘I think what we do here at SGA is voice the concerns of students,’ he said.