With postering set to begin Friday, Student Association candidates will be unable to campaign in residence halls before next week’s election.
Joint Election Committee bylaws do not specify whether candidates can campaign in residence halls. The SA annually allows the Residence Hall Association to pass campaign rules for residence halls, which are reviewed by the JEC and then passed onto the SA Senate for final approval.
The Senate was likely to approve the measure Tuesday, but its meeting was canceled because of snow, SA Executive Vice President Eric Daleo said.
The elections are set for next Wednesday and Thursday.
Daleo said he hopes to reschedule a Senate meeting to approve the rules for campaigning in residence halls for next Tuesday to allow the presidential and vice-presidential candidates to campaign during a probable run-off period. Door-to door campaigning is not allowed on the election days.
Several candidates are disappointed that Daleo did not reschedule a Senate meeting this week.
“This is a huge disappointment on the part of the Student Association, said junior Steve Sobel, a candidate for SA president. “The SA has prevented students from participating in the political process.”
“This is definitely a problem, but I am willing to work harder,” said sophomore Reid Wilson, a candidate for EVP. “This problem is another example that the current administration must go.”
If no emergency meeting is held, the next scheduled meeting is set for March 4, a week after the general election.
Daleo said he proposed a Thursday meeting via e-mail over the Senate listserv but only two out of 26 senators said they could attend. He said about six or seven senators have agreed to a meeting next Tuesday, but he is skeptical the Senate will have a quorum of 20 to pass a bylaw change.
“I am working very hard to reschedule a meeting … I don’t think any senators don’t want the meeting to happen; it’s just a matter of finding a time for everyone to meet,” Daleo said.
Sen. Adam Greenman (U-CCAS), also a candidate for president, said he has signed a petition for an emergency meeting. Five senator signatures are required for a petition to be handed to Daleo, who would then have 72 hours to find an adequate time for a special meeting.
“As a candidate, I really do want to get out to dorms,” Greenman said. “One of the most important ways to get your voice out as a candidate is through door-to-door campaigning.”
Greenman is hoping for an emergency Monday meeting to allow candidates to campaign Tuesday.
SA President Phil Robinson also expressed disappointment with the process.
“Despite the limitations, I do support a meeting to approve the RHA rules,” Robinson said. “It is essential to put a name on a face and platform of ideas. Students need to meet with candidates.”
Although postponing the election has been discussed in order to ensure full campaigning, student officials said it is impossible.
Senior Christian Berle, Senate chief of staff said postponement would interfere with the Law School’s spring break.
Robinson added that election postponement would limit transition time for the next executive and legislative leaders.
Despite the problems, the JEC has remained steadfast in sticking to the rules.
“We are here to make the election as equitable as possible, not to change around the rules,” said junior Christina Vamvas, chair of the JEC. “There are a lot of ways that candidates can reach students. This is not our responsibility.”
Robinson said the SA is currently considering other ways for candidates to reach out to students, including a possible Monday debate.
“I would love the chance to debate other candidates. I think that I have a lot to offer,” said sophomore Graham Murphy, candidate for SA president.