SGA dismisses election changes

By Zac Estrada, News Staff

Student leaders had extensive, and occasionally heated, discussions Monday night as senators and other Student Government Association (SGA) members shot down proposals to change the way executive board members are elected.

SGA representatives also engaged in raucous debates on whether or not to support the university’s proposed elimination of activities periods in favor of adding more sections of classes. Senators will vote online next week to adopt a revised proposal, laying groundwork to require Northeastern’s administration to create a long-term plan to accommodate a growing number of upperclassmen.

But Executive Vice President Sean Maloney and Senator Terrence MacCormack’s proposal to put the positions of president and executive vice president on the same ticket for the spring elections proved equally controversial, even though there was vigorous support from some members.

As executive vice president, Maloney chairs senate meetings, assists President Ryan Fox in short and long-term projects and oversees communications, events and fundraising, among other activities, for SGA. The position is currently elected by the Senate, but Maloney and MacCormack don’t think that practice should continue.

“This is the right thing to do,” said MacCormack, who believed the change would induce a more harmonious relationship between the two highest-ranking board members. “It’s easiest for the two as a team to work together once in office if they campaign together.”

He and Maloney also wanted to prevent the situation when an elected president graduates earlier than expected and cannot serve the rest of the term, which has happened twice in the last four years. They also thought it was the most efficient way of electing someone to the position.

Other students, including former board members, were unconvinced by the case Maloney and MacCormack made.

“The model we have is working,” said member-at-large Derek Miller, former vice president of student affairs. “If we make this a ticket it is going to become a popularity contest. We should be focusing on governance and select the position internally.”

Maloney was adamant a direct election would not affect impartiality of either candidate.

“I believe a mature candidate can be in this room and run a meeting impartially and express his opinions outside,” he said.

Several hours after senators voted 15-37-16 to oppose direct elections for executive vice president, members shot down another proposal to directly elect a vice president of student services.

SGA also approved a new Honor Code for all students, which is expected to be placed in the “I Am Here” orientation in the spring.

The requirements for running for any SGA vice president positions were amended to require an undergraduate student must be an association member for at least 25 weeks. Previously, students were required to be senators for 25 weeks before running for an executive board position.

The restrictions for presidential candidates remains unchanged.

SGA will meet again at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 in 333 Curry Student Center.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said the Student Government Association Executive Vice President was appointed. The Executive Vice President is elected by the Senate.