Election for SGA positions, referendum questions on April 13

Photo by Amanda Martin

On Wednesday, April 13, students can vote on CollegiateLink from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for SGA positions, candidates for the faculty, staff and administrator of the year award and three referendum questions.

According to current SGA President Dan Costello, voting tables are also going to be set up in the McCarthy Center lobby and in front of the Hemenway Labs entrance from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Should there be inclement weather, the table in front of Hemenway Labs will be moved to the Athletic Center lobby.

After the election is closed, ballots will be counted on CollegiateLink. The results will then be given to the SGA advisor to distribute to the SGA Election Committee before calling the candidates with the results, according to SGA’s bylaws.

For more information on each candidate, see pages 14-15.

Costello said the positon of Student Activities Treasurer is contested, with sophomores Sarah Horwitz and Bridget Green running, but the rest of the eBoard positions are uncontested.

Only one class officer position is being contested. Dayna Marchant and Alexandra Brown are both running for the position of Secretary for the Class of 2018.

Write-ins are allowed for all eBoard, senate and class officer positions, and each write-in must have a minimum of five votes to be considered for the position, according to Costello.

He said each candidate had to be self-nominated and students running for class officer or class senator positions had to get 15 signatures from students in their graduating classes. Additionally, every class has a guaranteed six senate positions.

Anyone running for a position must abide by the election code as noted in Article III of the SGA bylaws.

For example, no poster, banner or sign can be smaller than 8 1/2 square inches or larger than 900 square inches, a candidate can’t have more than 75 signs posted at one time, there is no discussion of the election in the SGA office and campaign material can only be posted in designated areas and must follow SILD posting policy.

At the SGA Candidate Meeting on Wednesday, April 6, Claire Ostrander, director of Student Involvement anLeadership Development (SILD), said candidates are allowed to bring 8 1/2 by 11 inch flyers to SILD to be put out at breakfast, dinner and, “when possible,” for lunch.

Ostrander added students “are not limited to physical space.”  She encouraged candidates “to be creative” with publicity, and for students to “be heard” through word-of-mouth and by using posters, flyers and bulletin boards. If candidates wish to hang flyers in the residence halls, they must speak to a representative from the Residence Life office.

Costello said no campaigning is allowed within 20 feet of election tables, including wearing pins, shirts or any other form of publicity, and no campaigning is allowed in the SGA office.

Additionally, there will be three referendum questions for students to consider, and students can vote “yes” or “no” for each.

The first question pertains to whether students should be able to participate in decision-making at the University. Costello said this question is proposed every year by the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, and “usually passes.”

If a student votes “yes,” then they will be allowed to vote on all University governance committees. A “no” vote would prohibit student representation, according to Costello.

The second question, which is  non-binding, is on whether students would support social Greek Life coming to campus. Should a student vote “yes,” another question will be generated, asking if students will support an increase in student fees for helping to fund social Greek Life.

Costello said a “yes” vote on Question 2 would not mean social Greek Life will be coming to FSU, but instead will provide feedback to SGA on what students on campus would prefer.

Costello added he thinks some people may not want Greek Life on campus because they might believe it is not inclusive or that it won’t fit with the FSU community spirit. However, after he researched Greek Life, he found it can be “a very inclusive process.

“It’s not just partying and drinking games. A lot of fraternities and sororities have very strict GPA requirements – a lot stricter than we have for our clubs and organizations. … I think there’s hesitation because of lack of education on the matter, but I think some people who are very educated still don’t want it because they don’t think it will fit Framingham State,” he said.

According to Costello, because of opposing views on the issue, it was decided to “leave it up to student vote to at least get feedback where the conversation is going to go.”

The third question, also non-binding, will let students choose two options on how they would prefer SGA to allocate surplus money. The options include Adirondack lounge chairs for “Larned Beach,” a new digital scale for the Athletic Center, water bottle filling stations for the McCarthy Center or Athletic Center, a custom-made Sam the Ram costume with better ventilation and a space for students to write their own choice. Students also have the choice not to support spending surplus funds or to abstain from voting.

After the results are in, the Senate will vote on what to purchase for student use.

Costello said, “All the decisions that you make are going to impact student life on campus, from what we decide to advocate for to discussions we have with administration and staff, or even how we allocate money. All the clubs and organizations – we allocate all their funding. … We do a lot for the students, and students deserve to have their voice be heard.”