At the beginning of the Student Government Association Senate meeting on Oct. 22, SGA President Dane Block discussed why he vetoed a bill passed during the Oct. 8 meeting. This bill added a section to Chapter 702 of the Code of Laws that required that campaign packets must be presented to SGA Senate for approval.
Block gave three reasons explaining why he vetoed the bill.
“A lot of the time, the individuals in this room end up running for major candidates — major and minor candidates,” Block said.
He said he doesn’t want potential candidates to be in a position to make biased decisions out of self-interest.
Block said the second reason he vetoed the bill was because it had been tried previously and ultimately was repealed.
It prolongs the process, Block said.
He added that having SGA Senate approve the packets doesn’t allow the Elections Council and Elections Board to push out this material so the greatest number of students apply.
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Block said he doesn't believe it is within Senate’s authority to approve of the campaign packet. He said that authority lies with the body that governs the elections.
Block received no questions about his veto from the senators.
The bill faced opposition as soon as it was passed on Oct. 8. Brad Smith, SGA faculty adviser, spoke to the senators before the conclusion of the meeting.
Smith said this is not the first time this type of bill has come forth, and the bill always originated out of personal frustrations with previous election cycles — never from student’s problems with the process. He said he thought it was an overstep of the Senate and could be perceived as an attempt to maintain power.
Bri Thomas, SGA executive director of elections, spoke to the senators before the meeting adjourned and encouraged them to talk to her about the practical applications of bills that go through the Senate.
“I think sometimes we can circumvent a lot of problems if we as the Senate body and executive director of elections are talking to each other — we don’t even have to be on the same page,” Thomas said.
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