On the heels of reforms to the current Student Government Association election policy, the senate passed consolidating guidelines on election application processes at their most recent meeting.
The resolution, proposed by Jessica Healey, the student Board of Trustees representative, and Julio Interiano, assistant board of trustees representative, at the Feb. 17 meeting, streamlines the application process of the assistant board of trustees representatives in preparation for the March 31 election.
“This resolution makes the election process run smoother, reduces the effort on the part of the candidates,” Interiano said. “It avoids any corruption in the election process as well.”
Past application processes for the position consisted of submitting an application to the SGA with the desired position, participating in a three-step interview process in which a candidate can be eliminated at any time, speaking before the senate and going through standard voting procedure.
The new process allows an application period for the position, followed by a session of interviews with the applicants, conducted by the student trustee, alternate trustee, a representative from the Office of Student Life and the liason to the Board of Trustees. An applicant can only be eliminated from contention if there is a unanimous vote to do so. Applicants will then follow the same procedure of speaking before the senate and voting procedures.
“The resolution allows the election of the position to be more democratic, allowing more candidates into the process,” Interiano said.
The senate also approved another resolution, allowing the SGA to join the campaign of the New Jersey Higher Education Package.
“The higher education package is made up of approximately 10 to 14 bills that aim to bring more money toward higher education,” said Jalina Wayser, assistant vice president of Governmental Relations.
Finer details of the package include increasing transportation means for commuters and expanding need-based financial aid to part-time students.
“Around 40 to 60 percent of students in New Jersey are part-time students, so we want to increase funding for them,” Wayser said.
The resolution also includes a clause, stating that SGA will provide transportation to Trenton in order to lobby for the passage of the package.
Concluding the senate’s action agenda was a resolution for referendum question, regarding the raising of student fees to $3.50, in order to fund the New Jersey United Students organization and its parent organization, United States Students Association.
“A higher education is no longer affordable, because the state and federal government have been divesting these past few decades, no longer seeing it a priority,” said Michael Brein, a member of the NJUS and one of the presenters of the resolution.
According to the USSA’s website, “USSA believes that education is a right and should be accessible for any student regardless of their socio-economic background and identity.” The NJUS website states, “We believe students have the potential to be the forefront of social change,” and NJUS also advocates that education is a right to all students.
The resolution allows for students to opt out of the fee if they wish to.
“If students voted a majority in support, this would be effective fall 2014,” Brein said. “Anyone who did not want their money to support the organizations would be able to opt out the fee, like the university’s healthcare system.”
Two organizations were petitioned for supplemental budgets at the meeting. The Society for Automotive Engineers was approved for $1,500, while the Robotic and Automation Society was also approved for $848.
Three clubs also presented for petitioning status, with the Black Cultural League and the Rowan University Law and Justice Debate Team reaching that status. The American Choral Director’s Association was not present at the meeting.
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