Senate re-examines campaigning policies

Posted by Kat Kullman

On Tuesday, April 26, the Senate of the Student Government Association voted to amend the SGA election policies and procedures, limiting candidates' use of campaign materials and banning third party campaigning.

Jenny Snow '11, vice president for communication and outreach, brought the resolution to the floor. The primary change in the policy was the addition of a clause saying no candidate may produce more than 50 pieces of physical campaign material.

To help the campus become more environmental, Senate added an additional clause that no more than 35 of the campaign pieces may be paper.

A second clause in the resolution says the candidate is the only person who can campaign for his or her candidacy. The clause is included in the policy to give every candidate an equal opportunity, according to Snow.

"I don't want SGA and elections to become a popularity contest," Snow said. "We're trying to protect the people of Skidmore who don't have an army of friends to help campaign for them."

Some senators disagreed, saying more campaigners would raise awareness of elections.

"We don't have a right to tell people what they can't say," said Alex Bland ‘12, vice president for club affairs. "All this is doing is stopping people from talking about elections."

While many senators were in support of striking the clause from the policy, Snow pointed out that if the clause were to be struck it would become impossible to account for any slanderous or unfair campaigning from either the candidate or supporters.

The clause remained in the policy, meaning a candidate is now the only person who can campaign for his or herself. The resolution to amend the policy was passed, but will likely return at next week's Senate meeting.

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