SGA president vetoes bill removing runoff elections

The student body president vetoed a controversial bill Tuesday that would remove the runoff system from Student Government Association elections. The bill, which passed in the House of Student Representatives with minimal objection, lacked the specificity needed to prevent future Judicial Board hearings during election season, she said.

Kelsie Johnson, SGA president, said the runoff system adds to the legitimacy of the election process because it requires the winner to attain a majority of votes.

Science and Engineering representative Andrew Pulliam authored the bill, and introduced it on the floor of the House. The runoff process occurs when a candidate for office does not receive an absolute majority, Pulliam said. Some members voiced their concerns over what they felt was a lack of debate.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed,” Pulliam said, adding that he wouldn’t give up on the bill.

The House of Representatives needs a two-thirds vote to overturn a presidential veto.

Joey Parr, chairman of the Elections and Regulations Committee, said the bill should have had more debate on the floor of the House. The committee passed the bill passed unanimously with one abstention.

“I think it will lead to further strife in the future,” Parr said. “I’m actually surprised the debate wasn’t as heated as it should have been.”

Johnson and Speaker of the House Haley Murphy echoed the surprise.

“I am disappointed in the lack of debate tonight regarding this issue because it is a very important issue and should have been debated in House more than it was,” Johnson said.

Representatives tried to catch up on the legislation that accumulated from last meeting that was canceled when the university shut down because of icy weather.

The House approved four other pieces of legislation during the meeting, including a resolution to change the rules for the Mr. and Ms. TCU Homecoming competition that would limit the pool of candidates to seniors only. The resolution passed unanimously with little debate.

College of Communication representative Garyn Goldston and representative Samuel Maher authored the resolution. In their presentation they said the prestige of the award should be reserved for students who have had at least three years of service to the university, but added that the resolution would not hurt transfer students’ chances to receive the award.