Tempers flared during the Student Association meeting Tuesday night about an amendment that abolished slates from the spring election.
The amendment, which passed the Senate during the meeting at Rome Hall, allows presidential and vice presidential candidates to campaign together but forbids slates of more than two candidates. Over the past three years, candidates who have run on slates have filled a majority of seats in the Senate.
“Slates are deterrent to students who want to get involved,” said SA Sen. Matt Cohen (SoB-U), a senior, who was the only candidate elected to the Senate this year who was not a member of a slate. “It deters good, bright, talented students from getting involved by allowing this to go on.”
Sen. Jasmine Gaskins (ESIA-U), who was part of the Student Union slate in last year’s election, said candidates could face financial burdens that would prevent them from running.
“(H)aving a slate would increase the amount of money a slate would have to spend,” Gaskins said. “A lot of people couldn’t have run without splitting the cost you are talking about having your name on the ballot.”
The three-hour meeting almost did not happen. SA President Nicole Capp ordered the meeting so her nominees to the Joint Elections Committee could be voted on. Sen. OG Oyiborhoro and Sen. Nathan Brill (SoB-U) sued Capp and Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger in the SA Court for holding a meeting when the Law School was not in session. Although holding a regular SA meeting when the Law School is not in session is in violation of the SA Constitution, a special SA meeting can be held if it is called by the president.
Tim Miller, executive director of the Student Activities Center, said during the meeting that the Law School senators did not object to Tuesday night’s meeting.
“You might want to check with the person you decide to sue on behalf of before you sue the body,” Miller said. “Work it out like adults and professionals do. Every time you sue each other, the University questions why they should feel good about this body.”
The Senate will vote on the entire election bill when the it reconvenes in January.