The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    SA revises election policy

    Throughout the past school year, the Student Association Senate has been working to make some much-needed reforms to our election code. After having several controversial elections in recent years, the members of the Senate Rules and Legislations Committee set out to make reforms that would simplify the electoral process. Most importantly, the Senate addressed the issue of automatic disqualification. Under the old election code, any candidate that received three campaign violations (such as placing fliers on cars, going door-to-door or campaigning too early or too close to the poll site) was automatically disqualified. Even if the violation was minor in nature, the candidate would face a $200 fine as well as being disqualified from the election.
    Under the new code, a candidate can receive up to five violations before any action is taken. Even then, the candidate is not automatically disqualified. Under the new code, a candidate who receives five or more violations must appear before the SA Elections Court, and the court will determine if the violation will affect the outcome of the election. Only if the violations were serious enough to clearly affect the outcome of the election. A candidate can only be disqualified if the violation was serious enough to affect the election’s outcome. Not only will the change reduce the number of candidates disqualified, it should also intensify campaigning.
    The Senate has also simplified campaigning guidelines. Specifically, the Senate vastly reduced the technicalities that have previously been part of the election code. In the past, many campaign guidelines were ambiguous, making enforcing the guidelines difficult for the SA Elections Committee. The majority of these guidelines complied with the university’s solicitation policy, and as a result of the recent changes, it is now the sole responsibility of the dean of students to enforce the campus solicitation policy. However, if a candidate does violate the solicitation policy, the dean of students has the authority to recommend a campaign violation to the elections commission. Changes to the solicitation policy will not affect Homecoming elections.
    Finally, a major section within the code that has recently been addressed is the dates of Student Association elections, specifically executive officer elections. Last year SA executive elections were held in February, but the Senate voted to move back the dates for the primary and runoff elections. Executive officer primary elections will be held March 26, and runoff elections April 2. Many senators feel this move will encourage more students to consider running for the new offices. Also, the changes cut down a previously lengthy transition time between old and new officers.
    With all the changes that have been implemented, the Student Association Elections Commission believes this year’s elections should be different from past elections. Forms of intent for executive officers (president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and attorney general) will go out Feb. 19 and are due Feb. 27. Senior class president elections will be held at the same time. The SA encourages everyone to consider running for these positions.
    If you have any questions, contact the Student Association at 325-3917 or visit the SA Web site at www.sa.msstate.edu.

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    SA revises election policy