Student Senate hears unofficial election results, bylaw change, and bill

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Student Senate announced the unofficial election results and discussed a bylaw change and bill proposal Wednesday night at the student senate meeting.

According to the unofficial results, 735 votes were cast, missing the student government’s goal of 1000 votes.

Catie Witt, current executive vice president, ran unopposed and received 663 votes for student body president and 29 votes of no confidence.

Maralea Negron, the current speaker of the senate, received 448 votes for student executive vice president and Frida Arellano, her opponent, received 238.

Derek Pierce, currently a senator, received 463 votes for student vice president for student affairs and his opponent Kenia Gonzalez received 231.

Luke Young, a current senator, received 647 votes for student vice president for academic affairs and 27 votes of no confidence.

“I think that the votes were good,” Gonzalez said. “I know that they expected less voting to happen and I know that my number of votes were good.”

Gonzalez, who is also a marketing major, said even though she wished she was elected, she was happy with the turnout and did not anticipate receiving a large number of votes.

Gonzalez said running for student government was a good opportunity and experience.

“I would love to have been elected but I see it as an opportunity for something else out there,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve got a list of goals I want to achieve and this was just one milestone I wanted to try out and that was the outcome and there’s nothing wrong.”

Pierce said he was excited about the unofficial turnout and as of right now has many plans for the upcoming semester.

Pierce said he wants to meet with all the Registered Student Organizations on campus and work with them to create a better relationship and increase involvement.

“(I want to) do an RSO review to make sure that all their documents and active member lists are up to date,” Pierce said. “I also want to work with the RSOs to figure out what their ideal (number of members would be) so we can help them with recruitment.”

Pierce said along with working with RSOs, he wants to possibly add another Pantherpalooza later on in the fall semester.

“I know that first week when we have (Pantherpalooza) in the South Quad and usually a lot of freshmen are kind of scared of it,” Pierce said.  “So I want to make it less intimidating.”

Pierce said it will be a gradual process and his goals will not happen over night.

The official results will be announced at the next Student Senate meeting and students still have three days to file a grievance if they have a complaint about the elections.

As of right now only one grievance has been filed.

Senators also listened to a proposal for a bill from the student university enhancement committee and a bylaw change from the student external affairs committee.

Chris Pickard, the chair for the university enhancement committee, proposed the bill, which calls for the purchase of four recycling lids.

“We are looking at getting four lids for the recycling receptacles in between Coleman, Lumpkin and Klehm halls because they are too small,” Pickard said.

Student Body President Shirmeen Ahmad, asked if the committee discussed the bill with the university and if the committee asked why the university has not done anything about the lids.

Pickard said the only person they talked to was the former campus sustainability coordinator, Ryan Siegel.

Catie Witt, the student executive vice president, said the bill was a great idea but asked if the committee thought about asking for sponsorships as opposed to taking the funds from the student government budget.

Pickard said he and the committee did not.

Katie St. John, the chair for the student external affairs committee, proposed her bylaw change and said it would help make it easier for the future chair of the committee.

“Most of the stuff that is crossed out is because it doesn’t happen anymore or it isn’t relevant to our committee,” St. John said.

St. John said the committee also made additions to the bylaw.

The committee will continue its communication with the Charleston High School and continue to attend the Charleston City Hall meetings, St. John said.

The bylaw change and senate bill were tabled until the next meeting.


Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]