Aaaaand after a student council weekend retreat and some meetings, CCSC has decided to hold a direct election to fill the USenate seat. Democracy prevails! Registration to run is here and the election should conclude by mid-October.
Full press release from the CCSC Exec Board:
The Executive Board of Columbia College Student Council will implement a direct election to fill the recently vacated Columbia College University Senate seat.
The Executive Board chose to conduct an indirect election knowing that a direct election lacking adequate campaign time and high voter turnout would likely be less representative than a thorough, indirect election process. CCSC’s indirect election process comprises two rounds. Candidates are first interviewed by a panel of CCSC members, including University Senators. The panel nominates three candidates to be interviewed by the full CCSC general board, which then elects the new Senator. This system enables deeper debate and lowers barriers to entry for prospective candidates.
Although the Executive Board does not believe the indirect election process was ever compromised, we realize that recent media attention surrounding this election has brought intense negativity and accusations of illegitimacy to the race. In this context, a new Senator elected indirectly would likely be viewed with suspicion and distrust, which would unfairly burden him or her. For this reason, in this case, CCSC will proceed with a direct election ratified by a vote by the CCSC general board.
Some have alleged the Senate’s delay in announcing this vacancy constituted an attempt to control the timing of the election to force it to be indirect. In fact, CCSC and the Senate could not announce the vacancy until the Senator formally decided to vacate her seat. Upon receiving confirmation of the vacancy on Tuesday, September 24, CCSC and the Senate immediately informed the student body on Wednesday, September 25.
Lastly, the Executive Board acknowledges vagueness in the CCSC Constitution regarding filling vacancies. CCSC will clarify this language during its annual constitutional review. The Executive Board reaffirms its confidence in both the indirect and direct election processes as legitimate and constitutional means by which to fill vacant positions on CCSC.
Registration is currently open to all Columbia College students and the Elections Board will release a detailed breakdown of the campaign schedule within the next few days. CCSC looks forward to welcoming our new Senator in the coming weeks.