The Student Association Rules Committee passed the new Joint Elections Committee Charter Act at Tuesday night’s Rules meeting.
The charter, which establishes the governing rules for voters and candidates during the spring election for SA, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board, and forms the Joint Elections Committee, will be brought before the Senate for a vote Tuesday.
This year’s JEC charter combined two separate proposals, one from a committee made up of Senate and executive members and a version created by Senator and Chair of the Rules Committee Chris Rotella (CCAS-U).
The 44-page charter aims to clarify and simplify much of last year’s charter including the Elections Coordinating Committee, authors of the document said.
One major change outlined in the proposal is the elimination of the Elections Coordinating Committee. The ECC is a body composed of the SA president, Marvin Center Governing Board Chair and Program Board Executive Chair that oversees the JEC, which handles the day-to-day responsibilities of the election. The ECC in previous years has been responsible for certifying the elections at the end of the voting period.
With the elimination of the ECC, the powers once delegated to that committee are now being divided up into duties carried out by multiple organizers of the election, said sophomore Kevin Kozlowski (ESIA-U), vice chair of the Rules Committee.
“I think it is a good charter,” Rotella said. “However, some things still need to be changed.”
Rotella said he is unhappy with the way this year’s JEC charter handles slates, or organized factions within the SA. He said the charter allows slates to share financial expenses and could hurt candidates running without a slate affiliation.
“It is a little too lenient, especially with regards to slates,” Rotella said. “This charter gives an advantage to slates.”
Last year saw the organization of multiple slates for the first time recent in SA election history.
In years past, the charter was brought before the Senate within a few months, sometimes just weeks before the election. This year the rules governing the SA, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board elections will be considered by the Senate four months before the start of the election. For the charter to be accepted, the Senate must first approve the document, and SA President Lamar Thorpe must sign the bill.
Rotella said he hopes to have the charter fully in place by the end of the next week. Once the charter is passed, the JEC can choose an official date for the election.