In an emergency Student Governing Association meeting Sunday night, Student Senate voted unanimously to appoint Tanner Banion as the new elections commissioner.
Student Body President Lydia Peele called the emergency meeting on Saturday, after Dave Hoffman, a senior in mass communications and sociology, resigned as elections commissioner.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is necessary to appoint a new elections commissioner in order to eliminate the potential for any perception of bias in the SGA elections,” Peele said in an address to the senate.
Hoffman was not present at the meeting or available for comment. Student Senator Mark Wagner, junior in psychology and economics, asked Senate Chair Amy Schultz the reason for Hoffman’s resignation during the session, but Schultz refused to disclose the information.
“Due to the nature of the situation we’re keeping it confidential, but it was a personal decision of the elections commissioner to resign, but there are a few that know the reason,” said Schultz, senior in biology and pre-medicine.
Banion and Peele also said they did not wish to comment about Hoffman’s reason for resigning.
Banion, graduate student in public administration, will serve in the role until the polls for SGA elections close Wednesday night.
“I don’t think there will be any major issues that come up,” Banion said. “But if something does come up, I won’t just be in a caretaker role — I will be able to deal with the issue.”
Banion served as the SGA elections commissioner in 2007.
“Because it is already so far into the election process, we wanted someone who was familiar with the rules and regulations of the position of elections commissioner,” Schultz said.
Peele, Schultz, and SGA Attorney General Adam Tank selected Banion for the position. Schultz said the trio wanted to appoint a former elections commissioner, and Banion was the most recent former elections commissioner who was not already working with a student body presidential campaign.
Schultz said Banion will take over the normal duties of elections commissioner, which include overseeing campaigns and ensuring candidates follow regulations.
“The commissioner is someone that is completely neutral in all aspects, and doesn’t favor one campaign over the other,” Schultz said. “Then he makes decisions on things like violations, and he answers questions from the candidates.”