Three new members were appointed to the junior Class Board to fill positions that became vacant because of former office-holders studying abroad.
The new Wharton chair is College and Wharton junior Bill Ding , the runner-up in the spring 2014 election for the position. The Class Board and the Nominations and Elections Committee also appointed College juniors Eric Marty and Emma Sweet to fill the offices of College chair and vice president of internal affairs, respectively.
The seats were vacant because the NEC bylaws state that students studying abroad cannot hold a Class Board office. The runner-up replaces the elected candidate, according to the bylaws. If there are no runners-up — as was the case for College chair and vice president for internal affairs — the NEC will either hold special elections or a formal nominations process, in which the Class Board can pick an applicant to fill the open seat.
The NEC, in consultation with the Class Board, decided not to hold special elections because of upcoming events, such as homecoming, NEC chair and Wharton junior Devin Grossman said. Finding a time to hold elections would have been difficult, he added, because the timing of the elections process would have coincided with religious holidays and fall break.
Additionally, many juniors are studying abroad and the voting system previously has had problems registering their votes. “That could be harmful to the efficacy of the voting process,” Grossman said.
There were seven applications for the two positions. The Class Board selected Marty and Sweet after interviewing them and three other applicants, with the NEC sitting in on the process. The interviews involved coming up with solutions to problems that the Class Board has faced in the past, such as a vendor backing out of an event at the last minute.
Class Board President Jesus Perez and Class Board Executive Vice President Allison Cohen , both College juniors, said that the appointments process increased board stability and cohesion more than a special election would have because Class Board members could select the candidates they felt fit the roles best.
“With the appointment process, it makes the new students excited to be on the board because the board has selected them,” Perez said.
Because students do not find out whether they will be selected to go abroad until after elections happen, juniors must choose between a position on student government or a semester abroad.
“The student body made a choice about candidates that they want and then they were retroactively removed from their positions,” Cohen said.
Grossman said NEC bylaws explicitly state that candidates will have to give up their position if they choose to go abroad.
Perez said that the juniors abroad were instrumental in helping other students abroad receive their class sweatshirts and they “bring a special perspective.”
However, he hopes that the new members will bring new ideas and energy to future Class Board events.Comments powered by Disqus
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