The Student Government Association (SGA) discussed potential changes to the election structure to allow joint campaigning and to allow Oxford continuees to participate in College Council (CC) elections.
President and College senior Ashish Gandhi also introduced the updated process to apply to become a chartered organization.
Gandhi, SGA Vice President and Nursing School senior Danielle Zamarelli, Student Programming Council (SPC) President and College senior Will Levinson and SPC Vice President and Business school senior Olubukunola Adebo presented a bill to amend the codes of elections to allow party candidacy so that students running for University-wide positions can campaign for another individual.
Bill 46sl38 failed to pass on a 5-13-2 decision. If passed, the bill would have applied to SGA and SPC president and vice president as well as representatives-at-large.
The bill would not apply to other divisional councils under SGA, such as the CC.
Members of the Governance Committee, who voted not to pass the bill during their committee meeting, voiced their concerns about the bill.
“On the university scale, it’s really important to give everyone their own individual opportunity,” College senior and SGA senior representative Malika Begum said. “I feel like it also discourages people to run.”
Legislators were also concerned that this bill would cause tensions in the event that one person in a joint campaign did not win and one did.
Supporters of the bill responded to these concerns.
“If anything, this bill makes an attempt at making it clear to your voters who would rather work together,” College junior and SGA Campus Services Committee Chair Aaron Leven said.
Student Life Committee Chair and College sophomore Calvin Li said that he thought that political party systems work better at larger universities like UGA, and Emory’s SGA needs a more diverse representative body.
Leven responded by saying that the passing of this bill did not necessitate the formation of political parties. He also said that the bill would increase the diversity of SGA.
Finally, the biggest concern about the bill was its proximity to the elections, and many legislators said that they would prefer that they discuss the bill after elections during the lame-duck session.
However, the legislature voted against tabling the bill for a future meeting, which meant that they had to vote on the bill during the meeting.
“I’d rather [the bill] fail and then we can make it more encompassing of these concerns,” Gandhi said.
Indeed, the bill failed to pass.
SGA also voted to pass a bill on a 18-1-0 decision to allow CC to include Oxford continuees in its elections.
College junior and SGA Representative-at-Large Raj Patel said that he believed Oxford sophomores ought to be included in the process because most of them become constituents their junior year.
Currently, Oxford sophomores are only allowed to run for SGA and SPC president and vice president, SGA representatives-at-large, and Oxford continuee representative on CC.
The bill makes it so that CC is now granted the authority to include Oxford continuees in their elections. It is now up to CC to vote to include them.
If CC votes to do so, Oxford continuees can run for CC positions as well as junior representative on SGA.
SGA also passed a bill to reapportion the legislature. The only changes to the legislature will be one more seat apportioned to the medical school, and one less to Rollins School of Public Health.
Finally, Kara Maynard, Business school junior, was appointed as chief justice of the Constitutional Council, which adjudicates disputes about the interpretation of bylaws.
– Contact Rupsha Basu at