The Student Association Senate unanimously approved the Joint Elections Commission’s proposed new election date in an emergency meeting Friday.
The senate approved the Election Extension Act of 2023, approving the election for April 13 and April 14. Juan Carlos Mora, the senate’s chief counsel, said if senators did not approve the resolution, the JEC and the senate would default on their duty to hold an election in a timely manner per the bylaws, which were amended on Feb. 27.
“If the senate doesn’t pass this legislation today, the JEC will default on its responsibility to hold a timely election, since the bylaws require that the JEC hold the election in March, unless it gets an extension approved,” Mora said. “In a few hours, the JEC will be in default and, by implication, the senate as well.”
Mora said the new election date comes in part because the JEC was appointed later than the bylaws require. He said the delayed election also comes after “pending litigation” against the JEC in the Student Court.
Three prospective candidates have filed cases against the JEC in the Student Court, including incumbent SA President Christian Zidouemba, prospective presidential candidate Mohamed Redzuan Bin Mohamed Raffe and prospective senate candidate Aidan Spencer, following disputes over the validity of the signatures they collected. Raffe withdrew his case Friday.
JEC member Michael Ubis said in the senate’s Governance and Nominations Committee meeting Thursday that the delay is necessary as the original election date did not schedule 10 days for the campaign period, as is required in the SA bylaws.
“With this date, we’ll be giving candidates that full 10-class-day campaign period, postering day,” Ubis said.
This article appeared in the April 3, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.