On Monday Nov. 29, Temple Student Government held a special senate meeting in which they introduced and discussed the changes made to the election code.
The meeting began by confirming former Senator Jillian Kochis as a Supreme Court Justice for TSG.
Afterward, Monica Rindfleisch, rules and administration chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on election code, introduced the current draft of the election code.
The sole purpose of the election code is to “provide the mechanism necessary to elect student body officers pursuant to the Temple Student Government Constitution.” The code is 17 pages and includes nine chapters.
“The key this year was to try to make elections as smooth and seamless of a process as possible,” Rindfleisch said. “I think we successfully achieved that.”
Senate President Colin Saltry said he believed the code was too “wordy,” lacked cohesiveness and that it should focus more on what candidates can do as opposed to violations.
“It’s very, very heavy sticks,” Saltry said, “and there are not a lot of carrots.”
Director of Student Activities Gina D’Annunzio said that the election code promotes unhealthy competition, focuses on the wrong things and is too long.
D’Annunzio suggested that TSG should write a much shorter “guide to successful elections” which would outline the elections process.
“We’re kind of avoiding what we need to do,” D’Annunzio said. “I mean it sounds pretty. It seems like we covered a lot, but are we covering too much?”
D’Annunzio said that instead of spending time on the election code, TSG should focus on the bigger problem: not enough students are voting.
Sergeant at Arms Kevin Gerard also said the code is too long and that when he ran for an executive ticket, he did not read the whole document.
“It doesn’t mean anything to the people that are running,” Gerard said.
Gerard said sections of the election code should instead be in the constitution, which spurred a debate between members of TSG.
“Isn’t it a little bit concerning that the people who are supposed to come in and run and do this job aren’t reading the documents that govern what they do?” Kochis said.
Mark Quien from the Committee on Allocations said the election code should consist of “cut and dry” rules that people can easily follow. The rules, he said, should allow candidates to be innovative.
TSG members then argued over the wording of the document and whether or not words like “shall” should be included or replaced with “can.”
“I’m sorry you guys don’t like the length [of the code],” Rindfleisch said, “but if you want to run for office, these are the things you need to know.”
Cary Carr can be reached at email@example.com.