USG Announces New Policies for Elections

USG Announces New Policies for Elections

By TYLER MARTINS
Editor-in-Chief
Published: March 11, 2015

The United Student Government (USG) at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) has announced new policies that will go into effect regarding upcoming elections, according to Louise Lingat, FCLC ’15, president of USG and chair of the USG Elections Committee.  

According to Lingat, candidates running for executive board positions can now spend $100, which is up from last year’s $25. Executive board positions include President, Vice President of Student Affairs, Vice President of Operations, Treasurer and Secretary. Students running for Senator positions can now spend $50, also up from $25. Students running for office must provide this money themselves, Lingat said. Candidates typically spend the money to pay for flyers, websites and buttons, among other things. This year, candidates will no longer be able to print campaign posters in LL408 or SORC, and will have to use their campaign funds to pay for printing, according to Lingat. 

Candidates must provide receipts to the Election Committee. “If we catch them hiding [extra spending], that is grounds for disqualification,” Lingat said. “The elections committee is very determined that elections are [run] fairly and ethically.” 

In addition to an increase in campaign finance, student clubs can now endorse a candidate for office. These policy changes come on the heels of the possibility of what USG is describing as competitive elections. “Competitive elections are not new to the Lincoln Center community, but they are new to the executive board,” Lingat said. “We have had competitive elections for certain positions in the past, but it seems this year there’s going to be a lot more that are contended for.” 

In light of that, the Elections Committee has decide to allow clubs to endorse candidates, Lingat said, “but we want to make sure that it’s being done in a fair, ethical way.” According to Lingat, the Election Committee looked to Fordham College at Rose Hill’s (FCRH) USG Election Code for precedence. According to FCRH’s USG Election Code Article 7, Section 20, all clubs and organizations “must fill out a current endorsement form before officially endorsing a candidate.” 

According to Lingat, the procedure is basically the same. Clubs must first obtain an endorsement form, which will be emailed to club leaders. While at Rose Hill endorsements are secured through a majority of executive board members (Article 7, Section 21), all executive board members of a club must unanimously agree on a candidate before an endorsement can be secured. Clubs can begin handing in endorsement forms on Friday, March 27. 

“Club executive board members cannot endorse on behalf of their club on their own,” Lingat said. Lets say if the Vice President of [Campus Activities Board] CAB wants to endorse a certain candidate, they can’t do it without the consent of the entire e-board.”

By endorsing a candidate, clubs can participate in a number of ways. “Some of the things clubs at Rose Hill focus on are their social media pages. Some people submit articles to The Ram as to why they support a particular candidate,” Lingat said. “Flyers are doable but they need to be approved by the candidate and OSLCD. Most of the endorsements happen through social media and social websites.” 

Election packets, which potential candidates have to fill out and collect signatures before announcing their candidacy, are due Wednesday, March 25 at 5 p.m. Executive positions need 50 signatures and Senate positions need 25 signatures. Candidates can begin campaigning on Friday, March 27, after they have “had their petition signatures verified” and have been “notified by the Elections Committee that they may campaign,” according to the FCLC USG Election Packet. 

The Election Committee is comprised of graduating officers in USG: Lingat is joined by Senior Senators Anitra Singh and Deborah Adewale  and President Pro Tempore Joseph Lagville, all FCLC ’15. The committee is advised by Dr. Dorothy Wenzel, Director of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD) and advisor to USG. 

A debate is currently slated to be held on Wednesday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m. and elections will take place on April 8 through April 9 online via OrgSync. 

“I hope people actually come out and vote,” Lingat said. “Every single vote matters and that’s really important to the election.” 

Follow The Observer’s upcoming USG Election Coverage online on Twitter (@fordhamobserver), Facebook and on our website, fordhamobserver.com.

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