UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

SG to hold special election to make Title VI constitutional, validate spring elections

Students will vote on a constitutional referendum Sept. 16 that could make the Title VI election code, which was adopted last year and governed two elections, constitutional.

“Our constitution is in direct conflict with Title VI,” said Student Government Senator and
Budget and Allocations Chair Carlo Fassi.

Students will vote whether or not to make a constitutional referendum that would change the constitution to reflect the Title VI.

Title VI was revised during summer 2009, and the revision was intended to streamline elections, but neither senators nor the previous attorney general compared language in the constitution and Title VI before voting on it, Fassi said.

Newly appointed attorney general Matthew Brockelman noticed the inconsistency while he was studying the constitution and statutes during the summer.

Besides being unconstitutional, Title VI’s election schedule is different from the constitution’s schedule.

Under Title VI, some intercollegiate seats came up for election in the spring, but under the constitution’s election schedule, those seats were not up for election, Fassi said.

“Some of the people in the spring technically weren’t allowed to be elected,” Fassi said. “Because the constitution says they should have run in a different semester.”

Fassi said the inconsistency should not have made it through senate.

“It was a huge oversight,” he said.

The constitution trumps titles in the event of a conflict, and since the spring elections were held in compliance with Title VI and not the constitution, some senators’ elections could have been invalidated.

“We could have invalidated elections, but it didn’t seem beneficial to the student body to do that,” Brockelman said. “Too many people had done legitimate work to just kick them out of office.”

Fassi also said invalidating the elections is unreasonable.

“They did work really hard to get elected,” Fassi said.

Other problems arose, as well.

Under the constitution, senators who are appointed to intercollegiate seats maintain the seat for the entire year, while under Title VI they must run for re-election in the next election, Fassi said.

SG operated elections following Title VI’s rules governing intercollegiate appointees, and as a result, senators appointed in fall 2009 had to run again in the spring as per Title VI,
Brockelman said.

No senator’s tenure has been extended, Brockelman said.

Some intercollegiate senators were actually forced to run in elections they should have not had to participate in according to the constitution, Fassi said.

Brockelman and Fassi rewrote the sections of the constitution that were at odds with Title VI Aug. 31, and Senate President Mack Volk and SG President Sitou Byll-Cataria signed the legislation Sept. 1, Volk said.

SG had to get the revisions done as fast as possible, so it could go to a vote, and SG could proceed with the October elections, Volk said. The fall elections had to be delayed one week for SG to inform the students about and hold the special election, he said.

Students have to pass the referendum with a majority for it to take effect. If it doesn’t pass, SG will run the upcoming October elections under the constitution as it reads now.

“The elections would make the most sense doing it this way [under Title VI],” Fassi said.

The referendum is available on the homepage of SG’s website, unf.edu/groups/sga.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *