Student Government voted to approve and reject certain changes to the election code.
The changes were discussed last week and mainly focus on avoiding problems that arose in last year’s elections.
Major changes include reducing campaign season from three to two weeks, outlawing vote solicitation with tablets and holding campaigns to the Student Code of Conduct.
Student Government Association voted to approve some of the changes to the elections code addressing issues and concerns from the previous election.
Campaign season will last only two weeks this year, versus last year’s three week election season duration.
SGA vice president Alyssa France said candidates last year expressed that three weeks was too long.
“Three weeks is exhausting,” France said. “You’re campaigning nonstop. It can put a dent on your grades and morale. We felt it was important to give students two weeks and not drain them emotionally, physically and mentally.”
Another change is that campaigns and their staffs will no longer be able to present students with technology like tablets or laptops to solicit votes, addressing a concern from last year’s campaign tactics.
Students on campaigns and campaign staffs will now be held to the Ball State Student Code of Conduct, compared to the past when it was not specified in the elections code.
“It was a concern in election last year. Some behaviors of candidates and staff went against the student code, and because it wasn’t defied by elections code, the board wasn’t sure what to do,” France said.
One of last week’s proposed changes stated student media would not report the results of the nominating convention until 24 hours after nominating convention, but this was struck out in Wednesday’s meeting.
France said the nominating convention will be open to the public and SGA has no jurisdiction over student media. It will be the decision of campaign managers whether or not to speak to the press immediately after nominating convention.
During last year’s campaign season, the executive slate Cardinal United was fined within $1 of the $500 disqualification limit for charges that were later dropped. Concerns were voiced about setting fine limits and the power of the elections board, but these were not addressed in the final changes this year.
“I know our elections board last year didn’t always make the best decisions, but this year we are looking to have our advisor [at those meetings],” France said. “Putting specific fine limits for specific actions wasn’t something we wanted to do because it’s hard to predict what will happen.”
France said in her four years on SGA, she has seen comprehensive changes focused on cleaning up and defining the elections code.
Also during the SGA meeting, the elections board put together by elections chairperson Alex Sventeckis was approved by a senate vote.
Packets for the nominating convention are due to the SGA office on Feb. 7 and nominating convention will be held on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.