Senate places power in the hands of the students, passes elections commissioner referendum

Jeremy Collard

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Senate President Chase Baker observes senators in discussion. Photo by Michael Herrera

During the Oct. 12 general senate meeting, senators were faced with the decision to turn over elections power to the students, and heard office reports from the University and Student Affairs Chairwoman Cassidy Keefe and President Hailey Guerra concerning guns on campus and possible free printing.

 

Elections Revision

Senate unanimously passed a constitutional referendum titled “The Binding Responsibility and Adherence to Democracy Act,” or BRAD, named after current Elections Commissioner Brad Johnson.

The referendum would solidify the elections commissioner position under Article V of the UNF Constitution. With the shift taking place, senators would no longer have the immediate power to create a senate bill in order to remove the commissioner.

This power would then rest solely with the student body in a general election vote.

If this referendum passes during the upcoming fall election, any revision to the elections commissioner position would be subject to the referendum process. Students and senators can write constitutional referendums, which must be passed by senate before being forwarded to a general elections ballot.

Until June 2014, the senate held the power to propose changes in the Elections Policies and Procedures, which now rests with the elections commissioner. According to UNF statute Title VI, the elections office was created “to conduct the unbiased service of upholding the democratic process through elections.”

The elections commissioner would still be subject to impeachment laws, as described by Article VII of the UNF Constitution, and the commissioner position would require yearly reconfirmation by the Government Oversight Committee. The current term limit for this position is two years. Each new elections commissioner is appointed by the student government president.

 

Office Reports-

University and Student Affairs Chairwoman Cassidy Keefe announced that the current Osprey Voice survey is asking students to provide information that would influence UNF’s stance on concealed guns on campus. The information collected would then be directed to UNF’s lobbying effort on that issue.

Currently, this month’s Osprey Voice survey has registered approximately 60 responses, according to Keefe. The questionnaire asks students if they are aware of the current guns on campus bill moving through Florida legislature, and if they support or oppose the bill.

President Hailey Guerra announced that a free printing lab may be reintroduced this spring. According to Guerra, a significant number of students have requested for the reopening of the free print lab*. Guerra also said that SG is currently working on the issue.

*Correction – Spinnaker first described the printing program existing in lab form. Spinnaker will update on the details of this program when information becomes available.

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