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Changes to IUSG Election Code will affect upcoming elections



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Students listen in while then-junior Jeffrey Bae explains how to get involved in student government at IU. IU Student Government passed two changes to its Election Code last week that will change the executive ticket to include only the president and vice president by name and remove sections of the code from the IUSG Constitution. Peter Talbot Buy Photos

IU Student Government passed two changes to its Election Code last week. The changes will apply to the IUSG executive elections at the end of March.

The revisions will change the executive ticket to include only the president and vice president by name and will remove sections of the Election Code from the IUSG Constitution. This simplified the Election Code into one document instead of two to help candidates better understand the Election Code.  

“The object of the code is to keep the elections fair and unbiased for all candidates,” commissioner Kathleen Gonzales said. 

Reducing the ticket to two names will make it more accessible to students, senior and Election Commission chair Hannah Eaton said. The ticket previously listed the president, vice president of administration, vice president of Congress and treasurer.

“Students aren’t always really familiar with student government, so anything we can do to make it more personal to them we want to do to try to raise more awareness about what they’re doing,” Eaton said. 

The Election Commission, which enforces the election rules, is a group of about 11 students within IUSG, Eaton said.

Constitutional changes require a two-thirds majority vote in Congress on a proposed resolution. Once the two-thirds vote is achieved, it goes to a referendum vote of the student body, which needs a majority vote to pass. 

There are more constitutional changes in the works, Eaton said.

The Election Commission began revisions to the Election Code last fall, Eaton said. 

The main change the Supreme Court worked on with the Election Commission this year was removing vote deductions, Eaton said. In past years, candidates could submit complaints if they thought their opponents violated the code.

If candidates were shown to be in violation, they would lose a percentage of votes.  

“We felt that method was very undemocratic because it was taking away the students’ voice,” Eaton said.

She referenced a Wall Street Journal article published in April 2018 that talked about how colleges followed this tactic for vote deductions. IUSG wanted IU to be one of the first colleges to change the policy, Eaton said.

This year there will be a point system that categorizes rule violations with different points awarded for each violation. If a candidate receives 10 points in rule violations, he or she will be disqualified.

“So this year will be kind of an experiment to see if the new system we came up with works,” Eaton said. 

Candidates also now have 48 hours to submit complaints following a code violation rather than not having a time constraint like before, Eaton said. 

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