On Sept. 26, Associated Student Inc. (ASI) debated the newly recommended ASI Election Candidate Code during the last Board of Directors meeting. The ASI Election Candidate Code is an established set of rules candidates must follow to be eligible in the running for any ASI position. The entire ASI senate must approve all new changes made to the code yearly.
Attorney General Manshaan Dhir, a third-year environmental biology student, began the discussion with new suggestions to the code. The proposal for an updated version of the election regulations will eliminate the section of individual endorsements.
“The main differences are that we used to have a section on individual endorsements where it was mandated that ASI officeholders can’t endorse specific people for any ASI role,” Dhir said. “In the new Election Candidates Code, that section has been taken out. So, there is no governance over individual endorsements.”
But many of the senators on the board were confused about the new freedom to endorse individual candidates. Senators from various colleges questioned the fairness of individual endorsements.
The senators discussed how endorsing a candidate can be unfair and worry if officeholders might recommend their friends. The freedom to endorse individuals might lead to unqualified people holding office or turn the elections into a popularity contest.
But the controversy was quickly shut down.
“If you are going to endorse someone that you think is best fit and can do the position really well, then that should be what you’re going with,” said Senator Pro-Tempore Christopher Badoyan, a fourth-year liberal arts student. “It shouldn’t really come down to personal preference.”
ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter, a fourth-year political science student, responded to the many concerns from the senators.
“That would actually be up to the election chair,” Hunter said. “Because there is nothing in the code that says one way or the other. So if the election chair makes it clear during the election process that that’s not allowed, then what the election chair says goes.”
Another point made about these new changes in the ASI Election Candidate Code regarded the need for ASI to model our U.S. government behaviors.
Dhir quickly commented on reflecting U.S. government attitude.
“It might seem like ‘unfair’ on the surface,” Dhir said. “We should be trying to model ourselves to the way it’s going to work in real life.”
The Election Chair will determine the action needed upon any issue not defined clearly in the ASI Election Candidate Code.
The next ASI Senate meeting will occur on Thursday, Oct. 10, when the board will vote on the approval of the new changes to the ASI Election Candidate Code.
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