The WSUSA Senate will be weighing changes to student elections in light of all the election blunders during the executive elections in March.
Former Davis campus Sen. Tyler Hall wrote a proposal establishing a timeline, clearly defined roles, responsibilities and duties for elections. The timeline also establishes when paperwork should be due, when offices are to be filled and when all of the training for these things are going to be done.
Hall described the proposal as loophole-free, but it won’t be used.
Legislative Vice President Jeffrey Henry said that the proposal isn’t being shot down but that student involvement is seeking input from many places to help with the election issues.
“The elections just can’t be fixed right now,” Henry said, noting there are other things to consider in this situation. A resolution is being drafted to help fix the issues that have come up during elections, he said. In addition, outside agencies are currently investigating the events of this year’s elections.
Disability Senator Melissa Reese was on the elections committee and said a neutral party is gathering information about past executive elections.
“We don’t want to pass any new legislation until we have gotten their feedback and know the direction we need to take,” she said.
The resolution mandates an investigation into the election process, including “the filing of grievances on other candidates, campaign rules, campaign finances, the selection of an election committee chair, selection of election committee members, responsibility of election committee before and during elections, use of third parties as a consultant including professors and the Walker Institute.”
An independent investigation of the 2014-2015 academic year is pending from an outside institution.
According to Henry, the resolution will be considered Monday, and if it is passed, it will be binding.
The senate will take a comprehensive look at the issues from the 2015-2016 elections, he said.
Hall’s proposal specifically targets the by-laws, according to Henry.
“Fixing one portion of the by-law might also break other places in the by-laws,” Henry said. Hall’s proposed reforms will probably happen, Henry said, but it won’t be exactly what he proposed.
Student Body President Joe Favero declined to comment on Hall’s proposal, saying he wasn’t involved with the legislation.
Hall was unhappy that his proposal was not adopted. He described it as “Darn near perfection” and said it would fix the legislation election problems.
Hall’s proposal would have required the election committee to be picked at the end of November. Under his proposal, the student body presidents would know their role and have a promotion team, the student Supreme Court would be informed of its responsibilities and members of the election committee would be instructed on what they are to do.
“That’s how an election is supposed to be run, but it’s not written down,” Hall said. “No one knows anything from previous years.”
The blame for what has happened in the recent elections can’t be put on one person, he said.
“When one person screws up, we all screw up,” Hall said, adding that he believes Weber students deserve more information about what goes on with student involvement.
Hall’s proposal notes that events like Senate elections should be conducted in a “streamlined, effective and unbiased manner.” It also says that the student body president should aid in all ways possible.
To help with many of the issues from this election, the proposal stated that candidates must submit a detailed election plan to include a list of their materials and teammates, that campaigning would begin 48 hours before the opening of polls and that there should be no campaign activities before that time.
Henry said Hall’s proposal can’t be used because it mixes policy with procedure.
“They need to stay separate,” Henry said, adding, “The way everything was done needs to be changed.”
To fix the processes that are in place, all of the issues from this year will be addressed, Henry said. The old procedure from the election process committee will be done away with and there will be a set document for the committee to refer to. It will say what the committee is supposed to do and what they are supposed to look at, according to Henry.
Changing the by-laws requires a two-thirds vote from the senate to pass and will be worked on over the summer, Henry said.
“Our target date for the finished product is Oct. 1 of next year,” he said.