TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 21, 2004
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SGA passes a more inclusive election code
More students can run for student body president after a new election code was passed.

By John Anderson
Staff Reporter


A new election code unanimously passed by the House of Student Representatives Tuesday will give more students a chance to run for Student Government Association president.

SGA President Jay Zeidman proposed an amendment to the election code which later passed to reduce the amount of time a candidate has to be involved with SGA before joining the presidential race.

Candidates are still required to have completed 60 credit hours and a GPA of at least 2.5, but now only need to attend two House meetings and one Programing Council meeting. Before, candidates needed to be in SGA for a semester.

The new code clarifies when campaigning can begin, what materials can be used, what qualifies as a violation and also allows non-SGA members to run for student body president.

The new code allows:
• Campaigning to begin at midnight two weeks before a general election, with no campaigning — including announcements of a student’s intent to run — permitted before that time
• Students running for office to utilize small promotional items
• Candidates to campaign on election day

Zeidman said the entire student body should be able to enter the race and that the new code will allow free and true elections.

Foster Hall representative Jonathan Leer said the previous policy was discriminatory because it did not make running for president available to the entire campus.

“It is now open to all 8,000 students,” Zeidman said. “Now any student that wants to truly make a difference can.”

Although the bill passed unanimously, some students had trepidations.

“My major concern is the whole transition period,” said Dave Watson, SGA treasurer. “The new president comes in and has to learn everything right away and I would rather the transition period be cut down.”

Zeidman said it will be his responsibility to fully transition the next student body president.

The new code was made to circumvent the problems during last year’s elections.

“I think some bad light was shed on the election process last year,” said A.J. Jonegewaard, university affairs chairman. “I think it will help because last year we had some misunderstandings in the code.”

Tuesday marked the last House meeting for the semester. Although business was handled as usual, there was a sense of relaxation and humor among the representatives.

“Hail to the Chief” was heard from whistlers at the meeting as Zeidman got up for his first speech of the night.

As the meeting drew to a close, Watson and permanent improvement chairman Lenny Armijo tossed off their jackets, button up shirts and ties to reveal their Under Armour shirts as they chanted, “We must protect this house.”
 
 
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