SGA creates election manual

For the first time in the history of the Northeastern Student Government Association (SGA), there is a solid plan on the table to hold campus-wide elections for the president of the undergraduate student body in spring 2007.

There has been discussion for nearly a decade about SGA holding direct elections, said Vice President for Administration and Public Relations Adriana Campos. Former Northeastern President John Curry was passionate about having direct elections and set aside $9,000 for that purpose 10 years ago, she said. “The time is now,” was the theme of her presentation.

In order to prepare the SGA senate to vote on whether to move toward a campus-wide election, the Senate Nominations and Elections Committee (SNEC) officially presented the Direct Elections Manual at the Joint Senate meeting late Monday evening. Senators will have two weeks to review the manual and make suggestions and amendments before they vote on it at the April 3 meeting.

Campos is the chair of SNEC and has been working with her committee on the manual since January 2005. She said former President Bill Durkin charged SNEC with the task of drafting the manual when he was in office a year and a half ago.

The purpose of the manual is to specify the processes, rules and procedures for directly elected officers of SGA. It includes the creation of the Rules Committee to replace SNEC and control all aspects of the direct elections and guidelines for the nominating, briefing and campaigning of candidates.

Only those with senatorial status in the SGA can run for office, and they must meet the guidelines set forth by the SGA bylaws and constitution.

Presidential candidates must have senator status for 25 weeks since joining SGA, not including time when on co-op or during intersession, in order to qualify.

If the manual is approved, voting will take place online through the myNEU portal and every full-time undergraduate student will have one preferential vote in the elections, meaning they will be able to rank their top three choices in order of preference.

If less than 15 percent of the student body votes in the election, the manual states the Rules Committee can extend the voting period by five days. If 15 percent of the student body still has not voted within that time, the voting procedure returns to the Joint Senate like in the past.

Other key details outlined in the manual include providing $400 for presidential candidates to conduct their campaigns, and a process for candidates to appeal and file grievances about an election.

The manual does not specifically focus on any one position. The amendments to the constitution and bylaws, which SNEC plans to present April 11, will specify which positions are going to be open to direct election. For spring 2007, the only position planned for direct elections is president, but Campos said the SGA would eventually like to have the student body elect all executive board positions.

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