Elections Analysis: SGA elections ‘chaos’ if rules not kept

When “Cosmo” Kramer caught a glimpse of Steve Gendason cleaning his ball on the 15th hole, the K-Man may have been down by a couple strokes, but he knew the rules were very clear about not picking up the ball unless it was on the green.

“Hey, a rule is a rule,” he told Jerry Seinfeld back at the apartment later that day, justifying why he penalized the former baseball star by a stroke. “And let’s face it – without rules, there’s chaos.”

Although the ways of Northeastern’s student government are cemented in “Robert’s Rules of Order,” an archaic guide to running meetings and conferences, rather than “SeinLanguage,” the group has a lot to learn from the philosophy of the NBC sitcom.

Less than two weeks remain until nominations are presented for student body president, setting off a month-long period for nominees to campaign before voting begins in April. But after years of planning, as direct elections are finally within striking distance, an amendment was put forth earlier this month to reduce the number of weeks a senator is required to serve in the Student Government Association (SGA) to qualify to run for its top seat.

The motion was shot down by a vote, but whispers continue about suspending the association’s own rules, allowing a younger senator to sidestep the constitutional criteria based on a specific person’s likability, rather than creating a lasting effect for the entire assembly.

“It won’t look good to the students if we only give them one person,” sophomore Stephen Lavenberg, who was in favor of the amendment, told The News earlier this month.

At the other end of the discussion, Senator Rob Ranley weighed in on the importance of experience, saying, “If you can’t answer the questions and solve the problems, the rest of the organization will crumble.”

On a national scale, with almost two years left, more than a dozen candidates are lining up to lead the country. Granted, the perks are different on Pennsylvania Avenue than on Huntington, especially with tuition waivers off the table, it doesn’t look like that level of enthusiasm will carry over into our own pool of presidential-caliber candidates.

The student government is left with two choices: to suspend the rules, which crossed-fingered senators have already voted to uphold, or have only one or two credible candidates to present to the student body.

It may seem, say, “chaotic” to nominate a candidate who hasn’t climbed the ladder and checked the sails before taking the helm of the ship.

Otherwise this election, like the show, will be about everything and nothing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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