New Election Ratifications Bring in the New Year

Every spring semester, students look towards summer with a hope of warmer days and making it through the rest of the school year. It is also during this time that students can run for a position on Southern Utah University Student Association.

The election process in the past has included students running in parties, yet not everyone agreed on the election process.  

“We have received feedback in the past couple of years about changing the party system and how candidates run in parties,” John Zillgitt, Chief of Staff and Head of the Administration Committee, said. “Students didn’t know what they wanted to the change to look like, they just said they wanted a change. So me and the other people on the Administration Committee have come up with ideas on how to change the election process.”

Zillgitt and his committee proposed their ideas on how to ratify the bill during a Senate meeting.

“We presented our idea as a starting place for the Senate. We wanted the Senate to think about the issue and see what they think should be done,” Zillgitt said.

In order for something to pass on the Senate, they must have a two-thirds consensus. During past senate meetings, the Senators were not able to come to a two-thirds consensus on how to proceed and whether they would keep the party system or have students run independently. The issue was tabled at weekly meetings.

Yet, there was urgency in the matter because the Senate needed to reach a decision by the end of fall semester or nothing would change.

“Whatever the bylaws look like at the end of fall semester, whether the new changes get ratified and we update the bylaws or if they stay what they were before, that is what will be used in the spring for elections,”  Zillgitt said.

On Nov. 30, during the Senate meeting, the issue of student elections was once again discussed.

Zillgitt presented the information taken from a survey that students were able to fill out on what they wanted to change in the election process. Out of a total of the 216 surveys, 56 percent of people said they did not want to have the party system and 44 percent wanted to keep the party system. Once the statistics were presented, the Senators discussed the issue.

Jeremy Osborne, Upper Division Senator, proposed to amend the election bylaws and instead of removing the party system, remove the party names from the ballot. A person would be elected based on their character and not what party they were a part of.

Most of the Senate was not opposed to this idea and Hayden Carroll, SUUSA president, called for a vote.

Of the 16 Senators and Representatives on the stand, 13 voted for the issue and three against. Since only two-thirds consensus is required, the motion passed.

In order to find out more information on what else is being discussed in SUUSA, stop by the Sterling Church Auditorium Thursdays at 11:30 a.m. to watch the Senate meeting. The meetings are open to the public.

Story By
Cassidy Harmon