CUSC in Brief: March 1, 2016

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Twenty-four members of the public attended this week’s meeting, ten of whom were sworn in and assigned to their committees after the election results had been ratified. The new dean of students, Francine McGee, was present and shortly spoke on the importance, and challenge, of representative government at the undergraduate level.

Student Life Chair Anny Un-Ain (‘18) announced that office evaluations went well, with only a few offices having problems. She also announced that the sale of Spring Break bus tickets would be extended until Thursday.

Treasurer Rohan Roger (‘18) announced that fifty syllabi will be made available during the registration process next semester. This will give students access to more information on courses before they make their final decision.

Elections Chair Adam Katzman (‘18) expressed his gratitude towards his newly assigned Elections Committee members and said that the Special Election “went smoothly.” Executive Board elections will occur on March 16.

The majority of this week’s meeting was spent discussing the systemic failures of the electronic petitions system. This resulted in accusations of petition manipulation. The Council has used paper petitions in the past, but this election cycle Cory Bisbee (‘19) and Josh Merchat (‘19) designed an electronic petition system using Google Forms. Once students submitted their signature, confirmation emails were manually sent out to signees. Council soon realized that the necessity of conformations was impractical, so Katzman waived the requirement. He also stated that he would not use this system again.

President Kevin Kim (‘16) opened the floor to the public to debate this issue systemic failures of the electronic petitions system. Dea Dodi (‘17), who attempted to get on the ballot to run for vice president, claimed that names had been removed from her electronic petition. She presented three video testimonies from people who claimed they signed her petition, despite the fact that their names did not appear on google spreadsheet where the signatures were displayed.

Treasurer Rohan Roger (‘18) and International Student Representative Arslan Tarar (‘18), who were running on the same ticket as Dodi, also did not get enough signatures for the ballot. The three presented paper petitions in order to show that they had enough “student backing” to be considered viable candidates in the race.

 As a former member, Dale Watt (‘16) expressed his concern for Student Council. He added that although the petition process was “unnecessarily complicated.” He does not believe that there was any malicious intent on the part of the election administers.

As the debate continued, there was a general consensus that the petitions process was flawed. Despite the fact that the Judiciary Committee already decided on the issue, further actions were continuously deliberated. Some students demanded further investigation, while Watt and others said the public should respect the decision. Representative Jitske Grift (‘18) called for a recall, while other members stated that those not on the ballot should run a write-in campaign.

A recess was called at 9:19 p.m. to allow Elections Committee to discuss their next actions in response to these complaints. The meeting resumed 21 minutes later, where Katzman announced that the Committee would accept new evidence regarding names disappearing from petitions.

At the end of the meeting, Communications Chair Sahil Shah (‘16) announced that he will be stepping down from his position and recommended Vice Chair Bisbee to replace him. President Kim then appointed Bisbee to the position.

 

Grants:

  • $1,900 was allocated to Clark EMS to pay for a emergency medical technician class for four students.
  • $680 was allocated to NARAL Pro-Choice for a number of expenses needed for various volunteer opportunities and public events.
  • $120 was allocated to Net Impact Undergraduate Chapter for an event to discuss coffee’s relationship to capitalism and the environment.
  • $1,650 was allocated to 11 members of Food Truth for their trip to the CIW Worker’s Tour in Columbus, Ohio.