Student Senate Elections: Campaign season alteration canceled

The campaign season kicked off yesterday for Ohio University Student Senate hopefuls, even though the Dean of Students’ office has not finished verifying all the candidate applications.

The applications were due Thursday at 5 p.m., but it could take until Wednesday for the dean’s office to confirm that all candidates meet the academic and disciplinary requirements to run, said Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi.

This time overlap is a fault in the process that was supposed to be fixed last year, he said.

Last May, Student Senate passed a resolution shortening the campaign season from 30 days to 22 days. However, the sponsor of the bill, then-City and County Affairs Commissioner Emily Hanford, did not replace every instance of “30 days” with “22 days” in the Board of Elections rules, said Vice President Matt Beddingfield.

“The other rules that coordinate with that weren’t taken into consideration,” Beddingfield said. “… There were still many outlying rules that said there was a 30-day campaign period.”

Chauncey Jackson, this year’s Board of Elections chairperson, said the board made a unanimous decision to keep the 30-day campaign period.

“… We didn’t want to have to decide what the intent was,” he said.

This year, candidates will also face stricter penalties for rule violations. Senate passed a resolution Fall Quarter increasing fines for all transgressions. Last year, one party was fined $5 for early campaigning. That fine was raised to $100 for this year’s campaign.

Campaigning often begins before candidates are deemed eligible. In an extreme example, senate’s election rules last year allowed candidates to begin their campaigns before applications were due.

This year, candidates’ forms will likely be checked by Friday, Jackson said.

Fixing the period between campaign season and final approval of applications can wait until next year, he said.

“It’s always been that way,” Jackson said. “That’s the way the rule is sort of written.”

jf250409@ohiou.edu

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