Spring Hill College’s Student Government Association has made plans to change its endorsement policy for future candidates. SGA Attorney General Dylan Mire and the class presidents have been working to amend the election code in the constitution. This change would enable candidates to be endorsed by campus organizations without penalty, which could have many benefits for the candidate and the student body as a whole.
With the current policy, there is zero tolerance for endorsements at all. If an organization states in any way that it supports a specific candidate, then that candidate would be penalized. The candidate would most likely suffer a 15 percent vote reduction and could possibly be disqualified. Even if an organization endorses a candidate without the candidate’s knowledge, the candidate would still be penalized.
Mire has been at the forefront of this proposed change. He stated, “We hope that this amendment, and all of the proposed amendments, can help enhance the student experience on campus.” He continued, “Our goal was to be as transparent as possible with all students during this process, and we hope that everyone can see that.”
The possible new amendment would explain how organizations could properly endorse their candidate, and how SGA should handle certain situations if something were to go wrong. SHC junior Emilee Adams also holds a significant role in amending the policy. “We felt that it wasn’t fair to hold the candidate responsible for something that was out of their control,” Adams explained. She continued, “If it is done in a regulated way, then it should be allowed.”
If the amendment is passed by the student body, SGA plans to have forms available for organizations that wish to endorse a candidate. After being filled out, these forms must be signed by the organization’s president. The form also requires the candidate’s signature, so that the candidate is aware of who will be endorsing them. After being properly filled out, the form is sent to the attorney general and regulations board for approval. There will also be certain rules that come with endorsing a candidate. Organizations may only endorse one candidate, and must wait for their form to be approved before making any social media posts or statements about their chosen candidate.
Before reaching the student body, the amendment was proposed twice before SGA. When it was first presented to SGA, some debated letting the candidate have a say in who will endorse them, which is why the candidate’s signature line was added: to ensure that the candidate is aware of and approves of the organization’s endorsement. Once the signature line was added, SGA passed the amendment on its second proposal. The amendment change was up for vote among the student body, with voting closing at midnight on Feb. 20. The results are yet to be released.
Filing for president starts on Sunday, Feb. 25, with the debate on March 6 and the election results announced on March 8.
Key Dates, 2018 SGA Elections:
Feb. 25 - Filing period opens at 12 a.m. for president, vice president and senate
Feb. 26 - First information meeting for president/vice president, at 6 p.m., and for senate at 6:20 p.m. in Student Center Room 211
Feb.27 - Second info meeting for president/vice president, at 12:15 p.m., and senate at 12:35 p.m. in Student Center Room 211
Feb. 28 - Election week and campaigning begins at 12 a.m.
March 1 - Filing Period for president/vice president ends at 11:59 p.m.
March 6 - Presidential debate at 9 p.m. in LeBlanc A/B/C
March 7 - Election Day begins at 12 a.m., and ends at 11:59 p.m.
March 8 - Election Results announced or runoff events commence at 12 p.m. Senate filing period ends at 11:59 p.m.
March 9 - Senate election week begins at 12 a.m.
March 10 - Contest of president/vice president results period ends at 12 p.m.
March 15 - Senate election opens at 12 a.m. and ends at 11:59 p.m.
March 16 - Senate election results announced at 12 p.m.
March 22 - SGA Turnover in Byrne at 9:00 p.m.