Joint Elections Committee to draft rules by Friday

The Joint Elections Committee’s three final members were appointed Tuesday, leaving the nine-member committee three days to draft its rules for this year’s campus elections.

The Student Association Senate approved Andrew Lewis, Kevin Burkett and Jonathan Skrmetti as President Kuyomars “Q” Golparvar’s appointments to the committee.

Last week, the Marvin Center Governing Board and the Program Board, the other organizations represented on the JEC, approved the committee charter and made appointments to the panel.

The JEC oversees elections for the three student groups, making and enforcing rules that govern all aspects of the campaign and election. The committee’s charter, which was redrafted this year, requires the JEC to submit its rules to the heads of the SA, MCGB and PB by Friday.

At Tuesday’s Senate meeting, Lewis, a former SA presidential candidate, said he is interested in the committee partly because no other former candidate for the SA’s top office has sought an appointment to the JEC. He said he hopes his experience as a candidate will benefit the committee.

Skrmetti said discussions about the committee with a former JEC member piqued his interest in the JEC.

“Call me masochistic, but I enjoy this kind of thing,” Skrmetti said. “Elections to student government are important and I want to make sure integrity is upheld in this year’s elections.”

Kevin Burkett, the Senate’s associate parliamentarian, resigned from his position Friday to qualify for the JEC appointment, Golparvar said. The JEC charter specifies that no committee member can be part of the organization s/he represents.

In other Senate business, Will Stewart was approved as the SA’s vice president for student activities to replace Nerissa Whittington, who resigned last fall. Susan Payne was appointed to fill the vacant School of Business and Public Management graduate seat.

An undergraduate School of Engineering and Applied Science seat and a graduate at large seat still remain empty.

Sen. Frank Vitolo (Law), chair of the Rules Committee, also introduced a reapportionment bill that would create graduate and undergraduate seats to represent the School of Public Health and Health Services.

The bill also would create a Senate seat for Mount Vernon College, the small women’s college that will become a school of the University by 1999.

Some senators expressed concern about granting a seat for Mount Vernon College.

But Vitolo said the SA constitution stipulates that any school created or redesignated by the University should be granted a seat.

“Just because they have their own (student) government doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a seat on the Senate. The law school has its own government, yet we have seats on the Senate,” he said.

The bill was sent back to the Rules Committee for revision.

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