SGA wraps up 2018-19 session

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SGA ended their final meeting for the academic year by tabling a discussion on changes in the Elections Code on April 27.

The organization ‘s members discussed a bill titled “Elections Code Revision and Extension Act,” created by Evan Fus, College of Technology senator in Hammond. The bill aims to limit campaign flyers to 75 per presidential and vice presidential candidate per campus for a total of 300 flyers per ticket. The bill also aims to allow the running mate of a disqualified candidate to choose to put forth a new running mate or withdraw from the election.

Jeremy Diederich, Honors College senator in Westville, presented the bill and stated it was put forth to prevent extensive posting in reference to the problems in the recent election. Previously, members of SGA and Meg Rincker, faculty adviser, declined to comment on the decisions by the Internal Rules and Affairs committee regarding the appeal from Eric Taylor, former presidential candidate.

A source within SGA, who requested anonymity due to fear of retribution, stated that the denial of Taylor’s appeal regarding Elections Codes Section VI B: Placing material in excess, G: Excessive posting of flyers and J: Obscuring another candidate’s materials was made due to several factors.

“First, it does not matter if they were affiliated with his campaign or not, he is still responsible for all materials posted and had received a warning regarding this. Second, there was evidence that he was at least aware, if not entirely responsible for, excessive posting in a location,” the source said.

The source said the third violation was for posting materials in unapproved locations. The source said at least one university department contacted SGA regarding flyers in their offices that had not been approved.

“So what it really boiled down to was regardless if it was him or someone else, he is responsible for all campaign material and all locations, and the final piece of evidence tipping the [scale] was the picture from the GroupMe chat that showed he was aware of the excessive posting,” the source said.

SGA members present at the meeting collectively agreed that changes need to be made to the Elections Code, but they were not sure whether the proposed bill would be the most effective change.

James Schooley, CHESS senator in Westville, said he agrees that limits are needed to prevent extensive posting but restricting the number of flyers handed out is too much.

“I think the process does need to be changed and the code does need to be looked at more intensively. There’s a lot more than this,” Schooley said. “My stance here is that we keep the bill in mind and we amend the process going forward.”

The bill was moved for tabling with the notion that it will be used to promote change when rewriting the Elections Code before the 2019-20 elections.