UCS to redo election for budget committee seat

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Undergraduate Council of Students agreed to nullify the results of an election to a University Resources Committee seat and begin a second election process at a special meeting Monday evening, after the winner of the original race dropped out because he was frustrated with the council’s handling of the situation.

UCS decided last week to hold a second election after a lack of publicity resulted in low voter turnout among students. The winner of the first election, Kieran Fitzgerald ’10, removed his name from consideration Sunday evening in an e-mail to the UCS listserv.

Fitzgerald removed himself because he felt that UCS was “incapable” of taking action, he wrote in the e-mail.

“I was really disappointed in UCS,” Fitzgerald told The Herald. “It just seemed like they were nothing but an ineffectual debating body.”

Fitzgerald added that he still would have liked to be on the URC, a group of faculty, students and administrators that makes budget recommendations to the president, had the process not been a “nightmare.”

The election should not have been redone, Fitzgerald said. “There was an election, and I won, so I certainly think I have a right to be” on the URC, he said.

UCS also agreed that the council could bypass the election in favor of an internal appointment process if the Faculty Executive Committee approves the change. Currently, FEC rules require that the student body elect the undergraduates who serve on the URC.

The council specified that the FEC must change the requirement by April 24 at 5 p.m., or else UCS would continue with the election, said Student Activities Chair Drew Madden ’10. The election will be held during the first week of reading period if the council adheres to a schedule Madden proposed.

The council also considered whether it should mandate that a candidate for the URC receive 50 percent of the vote, as it does for UCS elections, but reached no formal conclusion on the matter despite general agreement in support of such a change. The requirement could be formally approved at Wednesday’s meeting, though it would not necessarily require a formal vote, said UCS President Michael Glassman ’09.

“We probably will vote on it, just so we’re completely crystal clear,” Glassman said.

The council also discussed improving publicity for the second election, avoiding the mistakes made earlier. Table slips, all-campus e-mails and IPTV slides will all be used, Madden said.

Glassman also announced that this Wednesday’s general body meeting will be held in the Vartan Gregorian Quad lounge, not in Petteruti Lounge, because of A Day on College Hill events.

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