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Board rules on new SGA election regulations

By Matthew Stafford

February 2, 2011

Spring semester means it’s time for the Student Government Association Elections. It’s a process that began last Friday with the Cleveland State Board of Elections laying down the rules at a public forum in the Student Center. They announced a major change to the way to student organization endorsements work.

The BoE exists to make sure the voting process goes smoothly, monitor candidates and their campaigns to make sure there isn’t any sort of corruption and that the campaigns themselves don’t jeopardize the civil environment CSU has worked so hard to cultivate. For the last couple years, election results and the BoE have been the target of some controversy.

In one of the controversies, a candidate was forced to drop the endorsement of a student organization because under last year’s rules the endorsement had to be unanimous and in that case, it wasn’t. According to General Election Chair Scott Miller, this is what spurred on the change.

“We thought about it, and wondered, ‘if you can’t even get people to agree on where to get food from unanimously, how are you going to get them to agree on which candidate to endorse?”

The BoE had put much thought into what to do about it. They’ve even discussed the idea of getting rid of endorsements entirely. However, they had found that most students, past and present were opposed to the idea.

“Endorsements seem to have become a tradition on this campus,” BoE Advisor Daniel Lenhart said.

Instead they decided that in order to claim an endorsement, candidates must one of the following: records of a meeting with the majority of members present voting to endorse the candidate by a two-thirds majority or a document signed by the majority of members that indicates their endorsement of the candidate.

In both cases, the endorsement must be signed off by the academic adviser and by two officers, neither of whom can be on the ballot.

“In some ways this will be easier in that it’s easier to get an endorsement,” Miller said.
“But in some ways it will be harder in that it will require a bit more paperwork. However, we hope people are happy with this change.”

SGA, and Student Advocacy Party President Montasem Al Bitar approves of the change.
“It will definitely help us avoid the issues we had last year.”