Every semester senators in SGA have to propose new legislation to the rest of the student government. A new legislation was passed in the SGA that increases the number of senator votes to swear in a write-in candidate.
“As long as there was space open for a senator, if you only got your own vote, or even just your own vote and someone else’s … you could be elected a senator,” SGA Senator Hal Hughes said. “It seems a little inconvenient in terms of the operating practices of SGA.”
With the number of votes to become an SGA senator so low, this caused problems during the semester for SGA because senators would be elected and then not take the seats they were voted in to fill.
“It’s been an issue in previous years,” Hughes said.
The legislation raised the number of votes to swear in a write-in candidate from the senator’s own vote, or only a few, to 20 votes.
“If we put the number too high we were discrediting the number of students who did vote for a particular candidate,” Hughes said. “If we put it too low, people genuinely could have their friend group still vote for them in a joking manner. We figured 20 was the best compromise we could get as a number.”
Hughes said that one of the major problems with write-in candidates not filling in their seats was that they had problems meeting quorum. Quorum is when a governing body has to have enough members present to make two-thirds of a vote. Hughes said that the new amendment ensures that the senators filling the seats are able to take the position.
“It can help ensure that senators that are elected to their seats are more serious of the duties of their position,” Hughes said. “We can be more sure that they actually wanted it.”
The vote for the legislation passed unanimously with 21 votes in favor of the legislation.
“I’m glad that I could complete a piece of legislation in my first semester as a senator that people supported so unequivocally,” Hughes said.