SGB delays election revisions

By Marissa Meredyth

The Student Government Board discovered a clause in its Constitution that will keep it from… The Student Government Board discovered a clause in its Constitution that will keep it from allowing students to choose all eight Board members during next week’s election, a change the group thought it permitted when it altered its Election Code earlier this year.

In the past, students have voted for one president and five of the eight Board members.

The Board altered its Elections Code this September to allow students to vote for one President and eight board members.

“While changes have been made in the Elections Code, we ultimately must abide by the Constitution until it is changed,” said Lena Wickenden, Elections Committee chairwoman.

The revised Elections Code states that all undergraduate, non-College of General Studies students may “cast no more than one vote for President and no more than eight votes for Board.”

This directly contradicts Article III of the group’s Constitution, which states that “each eligible voter shall be restricted to one vote for the office of President and five votes for the office of Board Member.”

Wickenden blamed the confusion on miscommunication.

To change the procedure for next year, students would have to approve an amendment to the SGB Constitution in this year’s election on Nov. 18, said Judicial chair Scott Krzywonos.

The students will vote on the amendments during the general election. Amendments will only make it onto the ballot after approval from the Board.

“[Voting for eight candidates] would be unconstitutional if we don’t make these changes to the SGB constitution first,” Wickenden said.

Wickenden also reminded students that candidate information is now available through the portal.

Next Monday, SGB will hold a Meet the Candidates forum in Market Central at 8 p.m. A presidential debate will follow the next day at Nordy’s Place at 8 p.m.

More than 7,000 students who live on campus can also expect to receive a brochure early next week. The brochure will have candidate information and will remind students to vote. SGB will also distribute an additional 1,500 copies around the Oakland area.

Wickenden said this would be a change from previous years, when the Board ran an ad in The Pitt News on Election Day. During last year’s election week, SGB spent $3,815 on ads in The Pitt News.

The decision to not place ads will save SGB $2,500 — money that would have come out of the Student Activities Fund, Wickenden said. The Pitt News records place the savings closer to $1,900.

Wickenden said she hoped the change would increase awareness and voter turnout in the election. Last year, only 13 percent of eligible voters cast their online ballot.

Allocation Notes:

Campus Crusade for Christ was denied the $6,870 it requested to attend a conference.