Senate votes to move class officer elections

Elizabeth Oxley, News Writer

Samford’s Student Executive Board members are chosen during spring elections. In spring 2015, students will choose senators from each college. Now, they could also be electing their class officers in the spring as well.

At its Nov. 18 meeting, the Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 14-15-34.

If passed by the student body in February, the referendum would amend the Constitution of the Samford Student Body to allow class officer elections to be moved from fall to spring, at the same time as SEB and Senate elections. Senate elections were moved to the spring with an April 2014 amendment to the constitution.

After a review of the bill, including an earlier recess for 2014-2015 elected senators, Senate passed the proposal with 33 in favor and 4 opposed.

Junior class president and political science major Garrett Greer said, “Hopefully, the desired effect is that Senate will be able to start working the first day of school.”

With approval from the student body Greer, the Senate code of laws chair, hopes that Senate will be able to have an earlier start and more meetings as senate training will now begin before school lets out in May.

“As a result, funding requests will be dealt with much earlier and clubs can get their money earlier in the semester,” SGA Vice President for Senate and junior finance major Stephen Newton said.

Under the current election set-up, Newton said Senate does not get really going until October due to late elections and the subsequent training that follows. Newton said the referendum will take place Feb. 4 on Banner for undergraduate students. If approved, class officer candidates will begin picking up applications at the beginning of March. The bill will only affect sophomore, junior and senior class elections. Freshmen class officer elections will remain in the fall.

Housing senators were removed in a vote last year, and the change will go into effect in the spring election. This change would make the freshman class president the only freshmen representation on Senate in the fall.

“That is under consideration right now. There are people talking about the best way to address that [freshmen representation],”

Director of Student Leadership and Community Engagement Janna Pennington said.

Greer said he personally would be in favor of legislation that would allow class vice-presidents to join Senate.

Under the current set-up, there are multiple freshmen senators interested in the issue.

Freshman journalism and mass communication major and Vail senator Claire Jaggers also hopes to pass a bill next semester to address the issue.

“A lot of freshman representatives, including myself, are looking forward to having discussions on how to creatively address freshmen representatives within senate. We want to ensure that freshmen are comfortable approaching their representatives and that their voices are equally represented,” she said.

Senate is currently on break until 2015, but its regular meetings are held every Tuesday in Divinity North Room 302 at 6 p.m. and are open to all students.

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