A heated debate over a revision in the Temple Student Government election schedule marked what is normally a sedate Monday meeting.
The election for TSG officers has been pushed back to April 24 and 25 from the original dates of April 9 and 10. Difficulties in finding an elections commissioner was cited as the reason for the postponement.
James Fitzsimmons, the dean of students, said the search for an elections commissioner for the 2002 election began last December, but no one stepped forward until last week for the position. Denica Beaton, a junior majoring in International Business and Marketing, was appointed elections commissioner at Monday’s meeting.
The controversy came as a result of a reduction in the amount of time available for candidates to collect signatures to get their names on the ballot. Several representatives reacted angrily that they would only have 11 days to gather the required number of signatures.
“Our duty is to appeal to the student body as a whole, and not just this clique,” Michael Stanik, a representative, said.
Some representatives asserted that it was unfair that they would have less time because the executive body had failed to identify an elections commissioner in time. Both Fitzsimmons and TSG president T.J. Baker pointed out that they had appealed to the body for someone to step forward as commissioner or nominate a candidate.
“It is unfortunate that we are where we are,” Fitzsimmons said, “I would encourage [the representatives] that it is all of our responsibility to get the vote out.”
To run for the position of TSG president, 100 signatures are required. The other positions require 30 signatures to run for office. Potential candidates must turn in their signatures by 5 p.m. on April 5 in order to be eligible.
Earlier at the meeting, TSG presented outgoing Vice President of Student Affairs Valadia Walker with a plaque recognizing her longtime commitment at Temple. Prior to her work as VP of Student Affairs, Walker was involved in a variety of programs and initiatives involved with special education and mental retardation.
Baker presented her with the plaque and expressed his appreciation to the tearful vice president.
“In some ways you have been like my extended family and my own children to me,” Walker said.
TSG also announced a town hall meeting to take place at Campus Security on April 3 at 12th and Montgomery Sts. The meeting will address housing issues.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org