‘Soft’ campaign period to have restrictions
Student Government election campaigns will now include a two-week period of “soft” campaigning followed by a one-week period of “hard” campaigning after student senate passed a much-debated, amendment-filled bill restructuring the election codes Wednesday night.
Under the newly revised codes, candidates cannot distribute promotional items such as cups, T-shirts and food during the first two weeks of the three-week campaign period. They also are not allowed to hold campaign rallies or special events during this period of “soft” campaigning.
During the final week before election day, candidates will be allowed to distribute items and host campaign events as part of the “hard” campaigning period.
Student senators who voted in favor of the two-part campaign period said it puts more emphasis on candidates’ ability to campaign on their platforms rather than their ability to pay for handouts.
“People passing on Greene Street only care about the gimmicky promotional material and not the message the [candidate] has to say,” Business Sen. Andrew Kovtun said. “We should not appeal to the lowest common denominator in the way we structure our election codes.”
Some senators were opposed to restrictions during the two-week “soft” campaigning period, saying it could inhibit candidates’ opportunities to reach out to a disinterested student body.
“I don’t think we need to restrict our campaigning any more than we already are,” Arts and Sciences Sen. Stacey Brown said. “I don’t feel like during our campaigns we really bombard the student body with stuff, because I never really know the elections are going on until people start handing me stuff.”
Senators were heatedly divided over a failed amendment to the elections code bill that would have required students to have no less than a 3.0 GPA at the time they file for an executive office.
The amendment did not pass, and the current filing requirement — that students must be in “good standing” by their college’s standards — stands. The requirements for good standing vary by college.
The new election codes will be in effect for SG elections in the spring.
Other senate notes:
— Student Body President Chase Mizzell appointed William O’Shields as Elections Commissioner.
— With the swearing in of Business Sen. Campbell Hawk on Wednesday, senate is once again full.
— Senators passed a resolution to create a comprehensive list of study abroad programs.
— The house of delegates has created a facilitations committee to educate delegates on the legislative process, as well as a communications committee. The house will elect an interim speaker on Dec. 2 to replace its current speaker, Josh Snead, who is studying abroad in the in the spring.