Posters lined the hallways of residence halls. Messages, posts and groups proliferated Facebook pages and walls. The ground was covered in chalk.
All typical sights during Student Government Undergraduate Senate elections.
Campaigning for Undergraduate Senate and class council seats officially began Sept. 19, with elections held on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28. The results were announced Sept. 28 and certified by the Senate Oct. 2.
There are 30 Senate seats: five seats for each of the classes, four at-large to represent the entire student body and one or two seats for each school.
In terms of violations, this year’s campaign was relatively quiet, said Phil Cardarella, chair of the SG Board of Elections.
One violation was a potential case of libel on Facebook. One student accused another of being transported to Sibley Hospital for alcohol poisoning, when the student was only helping another student. The two parties involved were able to settle the case and a formal hearing was not required.
The Class of 2015 and the senator-at-large seats were the most competitive races. Nine students ran for five 2015 seats and seven students vied for four at-large seats.
Juniors and seniors did not end up filling all of their available seats in the Senate.
To certify or to decertify?
Last week, the SG Undergraduate Senate passed a bill stating the body must vote to either certify or decertify the election before knowing the results.
Additionally, a three-fourths majority of the Senate will be needed to decertify an individual race.
The bill will be implemented in the next election.
The new regulation, called the PRIDE bill, did not apply to this election because of concerns about implementing the policy in time.
When voting to certify last week’s election, the senators knew the election results and struggled to not let their biases affect their votes on certification.
“With a lot of senators, if they already know the results, like today, you’re going to have huge conflicts of interest,” Senator-at-Large Joe Wisniewski said. “You’re going to have campaign managers who are senators voting. You’re going to have candidates themselves voting [to certify their own election], so you remove that whole element of corruption by doing [certification] before the election results are announced.”