Student groups discuss possible election change

The Program Board and the Marvin Center Governing Board are considering holding internal elections, but those involved in the process are remaining relatively quiet about the details.

Internal elections are a change from the last year’s system, under which both organizations elect officers in campuswide elections and the entire student body is eligible to vote. If the new system is implemented, the student body no longer would elect the chair and vice chair of PB and the members of MCGB.

It’s all in early discussions, said Jason Anthony, the Student Activities Center’s coordinator for student organization management. According to Anthony, no decision has been made, but plans should be finalized within the next week.

It’s probably not what’s going to happen for the MCGB, MCGB Chair Mike Petron said. I personally don’t want to have totally internal elections.

Petron outlined several options for MCGB elections. They could be conducted internally; the PB and the MCGB could conduct elections separate from the Student Association; all three groups could conduct their own separate elections; or the elections could remain the same, he said. Currently, the PB and MCGB conduct their elections with the SA.

Regarding the possibility of holding joint elections between all three groups, Petron said, I think the SA’s done away with that option.

He said the Joint Elections Committee, the group that has governed elections for the SA, PB and MCGB, no longer functions as it used to.

The JEC is joint between no one but themselves (the SA), Petron said.

Program Board Executive Chair Ruthlene Abu-Sahid said two PB positions – executive chair and vice-chair – would be affected by the change. A number of logistical decisions have yet to be considered, she said.

Mike (Petron) and I haven’t really spoken (about the specific decisions), she said.

Abu-Sahid said she was unable to comment on the reasons behind switching to internal elections.

The PB plans programs such as concerts, movies and speakers, according to the GW Handbook.

The MCGB is the body assigned to oversee policy decisions pertaining to the Marvin Center. The group receives no funding as a student organization, he said. Instead, its funds are allocated through the Marvin Center.

Petron said MCGB members are elected to the board – not to any particular position – by the student body. Once they have been elected, board members vote on specific leadership positions, such as chair and vice-chair, he said.

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