This update on the actions and elections of the SGA are brought to you by Barnard Baroness Raji Ganapathy as well as the Super PAC Bwog™, “fighting for better news since 2006”.
This week’s SGA meeting was decidedly election-themed. We kicked things off with a presentation by the Columbia Elections Board. The CEB is an independent council that oversees elections held by CCSC, GSSC, and ESC, although technically it views itself as a subsidiary of CCSC and receives its funding from them. The council was formed three years ago in order to combat corruption and conflict of interest in the election process, which was formerly headed by each respective student council. The CEB emphasizes impartiality, independence, and fairness in the election process. In the case that the CEB is unable to resolve an issue, such as determining whether a candidate should be accused of misconduct, the CCSC judicial board is able to intervene and make a final decision.
On Monday’s meeting, the CEB made its case as to why Barnard should also start using their service. The presenters, CEB co-chairs Kate Welty (SEAS ‘18) and Sam Henick (CC ‘18), pitched the CEB to SGA members and fielded questions about the transition process. Barnard’s elections are currently handled by the Elections Commission, a group consisting of four SGA members (typically SGA president, junior and senior representatives to the Board of Trustees, and the University Senator), as well as a member of the Honor Board. With the changes proposed by the Columbia Elections Board, all aspects of the elections, including candidate promotion, information sessions, candidate mixers, rules meetings, ballot counting, debates between candidates, and promotion of the voting process would be handled by the CEB.
Some concerns and potential problems identified by both the presenters and SGA members during the meeting included the CEB’s ability to access Barnard’s on-campus and online spaces, seeing as all members of the CEB are currently Columbia students. In order to address this issue, the CEB stated that it plans to recruit Barnard students for the council so that the school is represented equally amongst the members of the Board.
After the Columbia Elections Board’s presentation, we also heard speeches from the sophomore VP candidates. After a speech, the candidates participated in a question and answer session with SGA members.
And now in external updates news:
Dragon snoring via Wikimedia Commons