Last week, SGA Judicial was called to meet in order to provide an interpretation of the SGA Code of Laws. Executive Director of Elections Bri Thomas filed a request that Judicial provide an interpretation on the sections of the Code regarding prospective candidates’ eligibility.
Editor's note: SGA Judicial decisions are required to be shared through The Plainsman within one week of their release.
CHIEF JUSTICE MCNELLEY delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court.
I. CHARGE OF THE COURT
Upon the request of the Student Government Association Director of Elections, Bri Thomas, the Court examined and interpreted the following sections of the SGA Code of Laws:
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704.5 All prospective candidates must be enrolled at Auburn University at the time of qualification, term of elections, and his or her term of office.
1402.1 In order to be considered eligible to apply for membership in a Student Activity Project and Student Activity Portfolio, all persons must meet the following requirements:
1402.1.1 Be a full-time student of Auburn University
1402.1.1.1 If a student is classified as a graduate student, they must be considered enrolled in accordance with their graduate program requirements
II. QUESTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED
The Court was tasked with answering the following questions:
- Is declaring to run and being deemed qualified or unqualified in elections equivalent to applying for membership?
- Does the SAP Section requiring students to be full-time apply to undergraduate candidates?
- If so, are undergraduate part-time students qualified to run for office?
III. HOLDING OF THE COURT
- The Court recognizes that minor variances exist between submitting an application for membership and a declaration of candidacy; however, the Court holds that the two share a common principle of submitting one’s name for consideration before a body in which the power to select has been entrusted. When applying for membership, the applicant acknowledges and accepts that the approval or denial is at the discretion of the governing body. In the same respect, a candidate acknowledges and accepts that the student body holds the same discretion when each student casts his or her vote. For that reason, the Court holds that declaring to run for and being qualified or unqualified in elections are equivalent to applying for membership.
- Additionally, under such understanding, the SAP Section 1402.1 and 1402.1.1 apply to candidates; therefore, undergraduate candidates must be full-time students.
- The Court holds that undergraduate part-time students are unqualified to run for office.
It is so ordered.
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