ASG recap: election procedures reformed

    In a lengthy and contentious Wednesday night session, ASG Senate approved two pieces of legislation to reform the campaign process.

    For the first time this school year, the session was extended beyond 10 p.m. as senators spent two hours debating and voting on bills designed to clarify election procedures.

    The first bill, entitled "Making Elections Less Awful," shortens the petition-gathering period to two days and eliminates the verbal campaign period, where candidates are prohibited from advertising online or in print. It also requires the election commission to publicize rule violations on the ASG website.

    "From my experience, this is a really low-friction operation," Chief of Staff and former presidential candidate David Harris said about the need to shorten the petition gathering period. "This is like a DM and a half of time to collect signatures."

    The second piece of legislation clarifies rules regarding endorsements and acceptable pre-campaigning activities. After a number of amendments, Senate agreed to prohibit candidates from publicizing endorsements from faculty, staff and non-undergraduate TAs. Candidates will be able to publicize endorsements from alumni and graduate students without evaluation authority.

    Senate struck a line from the legislation that prohibited executive board members from publicly endorsing candidates.

    President Ani Ajith argued it would be "unfair" to prohibit board members from offering their opinions and recommendations publicly, a sentiment senators ultimately agreed with.

    Later, ASG voted to allocate $500 from the Senate Project Pool to cover out-of-pocket costs for Ubu Roi, a performance from nascent theatre board Beg to Differ.

    Beg to Differ members successfully argued that the funding would allow them to purchase necessary equipment for the performance, as well as financially sustain the group in coming years.

    Senators also introduced four new bills on issues ranging from trans* community outreach to cheaper textbooks to constitutional reform. They will be voted on in two weeks.

    President Ajith announced during his report that a committee is in the process of selecting an architect for the planned Norris renovations. While there is no planned completion date, it will likely be after all current students graduate.


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