Letter to the Editor: election code reform

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the dedication of the current members of the Board of Elections, especially considering the amount of complaints raised in the recent SGA Executive race.

While they were respectful to the Elections Code in their enforcement of the rules, I think all four tickets would join me in saying that the Elections Code is simply inadequate in providing the regulations of a fair and respectful campaign environment.

As SGA Executives, one of our first actions will be to work with the Senate in order to consider serious reform to the Elections Code. I would propose to expand the role of the Board of Elections; to have this body become more than just judges waiting for evidence from potentially biased complaints but rather become watchdogs more fully overseeing campaign events.

Campaigning for SGA is so limited in terms of time that it would require little more commitment for BOE officers to constantly survey the outdoor campaigning, indoor canvassing, and other events to ensure that rules are followed. That said, there will need to be a great number of changes in the Elections Code in order to prevent future campaigns of this nature, as we recognize that other organizations on campus, Residence Life in particular, have also experienced great frustration with the Elections Code and how campaigns operate under it.

We look forward to working with a variety of campus offices, especially including Residence Life, as we rework the Elections Code. Our proposal for a change in the Elections Code is primarily rooted in protecting students, both candidates and voters alike, and the community of Xavier more broadly.

This proposal also serves as the introduction for accomplishing the broader agenda that Shelby, Thomas and I campaigned for during the past few weeks. While we know certain portions of our platform such as meal exchange and ALL Card access to residence halls became popular throughout the campaign, there are still more serious issues here on campus we intend to also devote our time and resources to that perhaps weren’t given the proper attention in the campaign.

For example, we are intent on keeping our campaign promise of making university committees more representative of the diversity of the Xavier community. Further, we find that the recent off-campus shooting has revealed the ineffectiveness of campus safety alert systems, and while much progress has been made in these protocols, there is still much to improve.

We look forward to meeting with the other tickets for SGA Executives over the coming days and weeks in order to see how we can best accomplish the goals contained in our agenda and those feasible ideas expressed in our fellow candidates’ platforms.

As we begin our transition into office, we promise to hold tight to our mission that our supporters helped share with you over the past few weeks — to improve your Xavier experience.

— Colleen Reynolds, ‘15