Sean Zimmermann reports on the continuing Senate saga.
Benjamin Brickner, from the Senate Elections committee, came to speak to the ESC about EGSC’s petition to the Senate to split the two SEAS senates seats allocated to SEAS. Brickner explained the Senate’s request for a referendum: “our intention is not to take over [dedications that would be generally handled by the council] … we are asking for your assistance, because you are closest to your constituents … and are best suited to solicit the information.” If a referendum is held, it would have to be placed on the ESC elections ballot, which means the text would have to be drafted and approved before the ballots go online next Monday. This would pose technical challenges, as Secretary Heidi Ahmed reported that CUIT has already begun constructing this year’s voting portal for SEAS students.
Many members of the council, such as President Green, expressed concern for adding a referendum to the ballot so close to the election. Brickner countered that the Senate Elections Committee has been discussing dividing the SEAS population into two separate voting groups since spring break, and the council should have been better prepared for the possibility of a referendum. Bwog reported on the initial proposal by EGSC President Timur Dykhne and EGSC member Arseniy Kukanov on March 9th.
If the question cannot be added to the ballot, Brickner said one possibility would be for the Senate Elections Committee to hold a referendum on their own. If the issue is not resolved soon, SEAS will lack a representative in the beginning months of next year, as voting cannot proceed until the Elections Committee determines how to allocate the seats.