SGA nominates candidates for first student-elected pres

SGA nominates candidates for first student-elected pres

The Student Government Association (SGA) held nominations for the first directly elected student body president Monday night in Shillman Hall.

Prior to the nominations, an amendment which was withdrawn by its author at the previous joint senate was reintroduced and voted on.

Vice President for Academic Affairs MJ Paradiso once again presented his amendment to decrease the number of weeks required as a senator to be eligible to run for president. After it was passed, Senators Joey Fiore and Christopher Bourne were nominated in the race for President.

Krystal Beaulieu, vice president for administration and public relations, also accepted the presidential nomination at joint senate, but in an e-mail yesterday to SGA’s President Rogan O’Handley and the Parliamentarian Michael DeRamo, she withdrew her acceptance so she could focus on and better serve her current position.

Beaulieu, a junior political science and journalism major, said she decided not to run due to her personal schedule as she realized she could graduate at the end of this summer.

Beaulieu was also concerned about her candidacy since her current position requires her to promote the election and makes sure it runs smoothly.

“If I appointed responsibilities to others I could have gotten around it, but I would not be living up to my position,” Beaulieu said.

At the Feb. 8 joint senate meeting, Paradiso presented an amendment that would decrease the eligibility requirement to 20 weeks, and add language stipulating a senator must have been a student at the university for at least three semesters, in hopes of widening the contender pool. At that meeting senators voted to change the amendment back to 25 weeks, causing Paradiso to withdraw it.

Senators rejected the amendment Feb. 8 because they believed they could suspend the bylaws to nominate more candidates. But at Monday’s meeting, Paradiso informed the senate that suspensions to the bylaws are never acceptable according to the “Robert’s Rules of Order,” a guideline to proper parliamentary procedures.

“We need to have rules to reflect where we are going,” Paradiso said. “The reason I’m reintroducing this is because of lack of information last time. I’d like to get it right, and make an informed decision.”

Many senators were unaware the bylaws could not be suspended.

“I was under the impression the senate could suspend the rules. I know I’m not the only one who based their decision [to vote on the amendment] on an erroneous assumption,” said Senator Bill Durkin.

Due to this misunderstanding, Paradiso’s amendment was reintroduced in its original form. Senators who were initially opposed to it continued to voice their opinions against the change.

“Experience is important. I mentioned that last time we debated this,” said Senator Michael Benson. “I’ve seen six executive boards in my time here. The most successful executive boards and presidents have been on the board for a long time. We want a president who is qualified and not someone who meets the minimum requirement.”

Fiore, a middler geology and history major, did not meet the requirement to run for president at the beginning of the meeting, but became eligible as the amendment came into effect.

“I was surprised as to how stuff went down from the beginning of the meeting,” Fiore said. “I’m just surprised with the manner in which I am eligible … but I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Bourne, a sophomore political science and psychology major and assistant vice president for student services, said he wants to reach out to as many students as possible through his campaign.

“I want SGA to be as transparent as possible,” he said. “The student body needs to know what SGA does.”

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