New SGA President seeks to avoid future election debacle
As Samantha Giffen has been formally selected by the student body as SGA’s next President, from a race that saw her two opponents disqualified for not meeting the qualifications to run, and Giffen hopes to create new procedures to avoid untimely disqualifications.
“New procedures will be implemented to ensure that the requirements will always be checked, such as before nomination papers can even be taken out,” Giffen said. Early checking would ensure that candidates who do not meet qualifications are notified of their validity to run. These procedures will be implemented regardless of the findings of the ongoing investigation being conducted by Academic Affairs, which is looking into the last 10 years of SGA elections to see if GPAs, among other requirements, were checked for aspiring candidates.
“If Academic Affairs’ investigation finds out that other candidates from the last 10 years who did not meet qualifications were on the ballot, then we would first definitely make this information known,” Giffen said. “No matter the results of the investigation, we will send a press release to The Beacon with all of the information.”
The investigation comes as Cathy Holbrook, vice president of Students Affairs, revealed last week that no GPA’s were checked for last year’s general election, leading to some candidates who were not qualified to run appearing on the ballot. The information was not released until last week because the candidates who failed to meet the requirements to run lost their respective races. This year, however, all the running requirements were checked, leading to the disqualification of Wright-Godbout-Nieves and the Allen-Luckett-Cook presidential campaigns, which Giffen admits she was disappointed about.
“I truly am disappointed with how everything happened,” she said. “I was excited to have competition and that SGA as an organization was getting so much attention and people were looking to it as an opportunity for change, because that’s what it should be viewed as.”
Responding to accusations from the Allen campaign that SGA violated its own by-laws and called for the election to be suspended, Giffen expressed her disagreement.
“As for the proposal of the election being suspended, I don’t agree that it should have been,” Giffen said. “The fact that GPAs weren’t checked last year was wrong and many people do feel bad about everything that happened. Everything that happened this year happened and there’s nothing that can be done about now except ensuring that this never happens again. And I will ensure that new procedures are implemented that ensure this.”
Giffen was formally inaugurated Monday, April 24.