After review of election codes and regulations and a hearing with Student Tribunal, the filing deadline for the student body presidential election has been pushed back a full week.
The deadline, initially set for Friday, Jan. 24, will now be at 4 p.m. on Jan. 31.
Per regulations, the filing deadline should fall on the last Friday in January, said current student body president and senior in industrial engineering Jansen Penny. Most years, the deadline falls around Jan. 24.
“The real question came of how we deal with precedent versus what is exactly written in our statutes,” Penny said.
Penny said current elections commissioner and senior in political science and communication studies Hayley Spellman and deputy attorney general and senior in geography and history Ashton Hess asked him to bring the question of the filing deadline to Student Tribunal.
“I believe the meeting was pretty succinct in that fact too, but also necessary for us to get a hard-line stance on what that’s going to be for this year,” Penny said. “[We really] wanted to make sure that what we are doing — and also setting a precedent for how the rest of the elections are going to go — that what is in our election code is followed very strictly.”
The last two student body presidential elections were marred with controversy and debate over election codes. Last year in particular, there were 13 total violation complaints filed against the three of the four candidates who originally filed for the primary. Of the two candidates that made it through the general, one was ultimately disqualified, leaving one candidate running for student body president. In the year before that, fewer than 10 violations were filed.
“Personally, I’m very glad of the position they came up with,” Penny said. “It allows for one entire extra week for students to file to run for student body president, and I think that does a lot in creating a greater access to that.”
Additionally, the new filing system on OrgCentral has presented some barriers. Penny said there’s been some confusion about documentation and how the new system operates.
“Some of those forms look a little different. We are making sure those kinks are being worked out online,” Penny said. “Really it’s about eliminating as many barriers to entry as possible for students interested in this position, which I think is crucial.”
Students interested in running for student body president or in any of the other races can find the filing forms on OrgCentral. The deadline to file for the student senate race is on Feb. 7.