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Credit: Kasra Koushan

After a busy election cycle at the start of the semester, the Nominations and Elections Committee is holding a special election to fill two SAS Representative vacancies in the Undergraduate Assembly.

For various reasons, four members of the UA resigned this semester: College senior Ivan Sandoval, College sophomore Hannah Sweeney, College senior Ray Clark and College senior Travis Shingledecker.

“The main issue is the time commitment,” College senior and UA President Kat McKay said. “It’s hard to gauge in April if you will really end up having the time to focus on the UA in October…we respect the choices of our former colleagues to pursue academic, personal and professional successes in other ways”.

Two of the vacancies were filled with runner-ups from the General Election in the spring; College junior Lawrence Perry and College senior Dante Miele-Elion accepted their positions while College senior Dorothy Newman did not.

Since four people dropped and there were only three runner-ups from the last election cycle and only two decided to accept their new positions, the NEC is holding a special election in which non-new students in the College are eligible to run for the remaining two vacancies. Online voting will be open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in the College from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 until 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21.

“This has absolutely been an unusual election cycle”, College junior and Vice Chair for Elections Allie Rubin said. Typically, the Vice Chair for Elections fulfills his or her duties by planning the New Student Election and the General Election but this year the NEC has had a lot more on its plate.

“So far this semester, I have administered the New Student Election that led to a Fair Practice Code Hearing, resulting in the disqualification of two candidates, a re-election and now a special election,” Rubin said.

A special election also took place last fall to fill two vacancies for College and Wharton Representatives. Vacancies occur if not enough people run for a position or if people resign or are removed from the UA.

In terms of the four resignations this semester, McKay believes it is consistent with past trends. “I would say this is an average year”, McKay said.

“We are grateful for the contributions [the resigning members have] made to the Penn community during their service on the body…and [we are] excited for these [new members] to bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our organization.”

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