After a two-week battle over registration requirements for the upcoming Student Association elections, the SA Court ultimately had the final say last week - ruling to eliminate signature requirements for all candidates wishing to run for office.
In a 2-2 decision - ties rule in favor of the defendant - the Student Court ruled that the SA Senate's override of SA President Vishal Aswani's veto was constitutional, ending the confusion surrounding the candidate registration period.
SA Sen. Logan Dobson, CCAS-U, proposed the legislation late last month, which requires candidates only to submit a statement of candidacy to be placed on the ballot. Dobson said he intended for the bill, which passed by more than a two-thirds vote in the Senate on Feb. 3, to open up the SA election pool to a larger and broader demographic.
"It doesn't really matter what arbitrary standards are met to be put on the ballot," Dobson said.
But some within the SA are saying that Dobson's intentions to open up the elections to more students ultimately may have had the opposite affect.
SA Sen. Steve Glatter, Law, said he is disappointed with the process Dobson took to get rid of signature requirements.
"Logan Dobson made a mistake by trying to change the rules of the game at halftime and the perception of our organization took another hit because of it," Glatter said.
SA Sen. Nick Polk, U-at-Large and chair of the Rules Committee, said rather than opening up the election to a wider array of students, Dobson's bill may have turned some away.
"We worked on the JEC charter over the summer and several times during the year," said Polk, referring to the document listing the rules and regulations for SA elections. "Any of those times we could have addressed not requiring signatures. I really believe that all this back and forth accomplished the opposite intention of the bill, being that many people got discouraged from running from all the confusion."
Amid the confusion, many presidential hopefuls began collecting the necessary signatures anyway. Justin Hollimon, community service chair for the Residence Hall Association and SA presidential candidate, said he collected signatures to be safe.
"I understood the amount of confusion that was going to be involved and figured it was better to be safe then sorry," said Hollimon, a junior.
Executive vice presidential candidate and SA Sen. Louis Laverone, ESIA-U and chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, said he collected more than 300 signatures.
"Though I wish those names counted for more than symbolic value now, I'm not bothered by the rules changes. When confusion set in, I just put it all out of mind and kept steadily moving forward."
The registration period for interested candidates ends Tuesday at noon. So far, seven people have declared their candidacy for president and four for EVP.