SGA passes new legislation pertaining to upcoming elections

Liz Torres, elections commissioner. Photo by Tim Hayes.

Maggie Haddock
News Staff Writer
[email protected]
The Student Government Association’s weekly meeting on March 1 resulted in the signing of two new pieces of legislation and the addition of a new member who will serve as elections commissioner for the year.
“Election time is coming up. It’s coming near the end of our terms and so we need someone to fill the position of elections commissioner,” SGA President Charlie White said.
Two bills were passed during this meeting. The first bill, Senate Bill 14, regards the nomination of the elections commissioner. Liz Torres, a junior history student at UNC Asheville, will hold the position as elections commissioner for the next calendar year, as voted by the senate.
“Liz is very impressive with her campus involvement as president of HOLA, as a building manager here on campus and as an intern with international student services,” White said. “She has a really great can-do attitude that I think will be really great when it comes to recruiting people.”
After a period of debate, Torres was voted in as elections commissioner by the senate, passing Senate Bill 14.
“It would be really great to work with you guys and I think elections are really important,” Torres said.
The second bill, Senate Bill 15, has two sections. The first section acknowledges pre-existing governing documents which set the timeline for the election cycle.
“Our governing documents that govern our elections set out a specific timeline that has to be met for all SGA elections,” White said. “There has to be a period of filing for candidacy, a period where we ensure they meet their GPA and academic standing requirements, a period of five days of campaigning and two days of voting.”
The second part of the bill discusses an update of the current governing documents and addressed concerns from last year’s election cycle and necessary revisions due to technical changes, White said.
“One addresses the problem where, say you’re in a student organization, you have an email list and if you go in and copy all those people on the email list and send an email out to campaign to people, you didn’t have permission to do that,” White said. “The second is just making sure we have an in-person polling place on both days of voting, since it’s now through OnePort.”
All other requirements regarding campaigning remains the same in the SGA governing documents and does not have to be passed along with the revisions, White said.
“That is all in there. So, it doesn’t have to be passed again,” White said, regarding the existing governing documents.
Discussions other than the new legislation included upcoming events for SGA, such as a panel discussion about inclusion in academic spaces.
“It is called Classroom Consciousness and it is a panel discussion on how we can create affirming academic space for people of all genders and sexualities,” said Rachel Maynard, legislative librarian. “We’ve got panelists from alliance, possibly Hyannis House, professors from the WGSS department and we encourage you all to come out.”
The event will be held in the Mountain Suites March 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
“We are going to be talking about affirming academic space for everyone here on campus,” Maynard said.