On Monday, November 27th, representatives from SGA’s Elections Committee presented a revised version of the Direct Elections Manual (DEM) to the Senate. The Senate approved the revisions unanimously that night, and the new DEM will go into effect starting on January 1st, 2018.
The DEM is the governing document that outlines and dictates how our annual Student Body Direct Election is managed. Under the direction of Elections Chair Kathleen Ballard, the Elections Committee took to revising the DEM that was used in the 2017 Direct Election. This highly contested election between the “Suchira + Paulina: Believe in More” and “Bender-Grondin: ReNUal” campaigns resulted in considerable attention by the press and the Student Body. Misunderstandings of and vagueness in the language of the previous DEM resulted in multiple formal grievance hearings investigating both slates for alleged violations of the manual. As a result, Ballard collected feedback from both slates in order to guide her committee in drafting a new and improved document.
Some examples of key changes to the DEM include the introduction of formal agreements that may be made between slates that would be enforced pursuant to the manual, changes to the grievance hearing process that would protect the identities of witnesses, changes to the emergency nominations process and campaign financing procedures, and the addition of more definitions to the glossary. These changes aim to make the Student Body Direct Election fairer for candidates, less vague for campaign workers, and more conducive to SGA’s goal of promoting peaceful transitions of power from one administration to the next.
You can view the new DEM on our Governing Documents page. If you have any questions about the Student Body Direct Election, please reach out to Elections Chair Kathleen Ballard at firstname.lastname@example.org .