SGA passes bill to revise election process

A new bill was passed Tuesday night by the House of Student Representatives to revise the election fine assignment process of the Elections and Regulations Committee.

Lizzy Caudill, the Elections and Regulations Committee Chair and representative of the class of 2011, said the new system would set election violations and fine amounts before the campaign filing period began. Specific fine amounts of violations would be kept confidential with the Elections and Regulations Committee, she said.

The new system would allow the Elections and Regulations Committee to focus on its duties of positive promotion of elections and increased voter turnout instead of focusing on fines, according to the bill.

Michael Dabbs, a representative for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, said that during the 2010 election, the new system worked more effectively in allocating fines.

Katie Russell, a representative for the Neeley School of Business, asked if the fines would be based on severity and amount of violations.

Caudill said the committee would take into account the amount of violations and monetary value for each violation to reach a total fine.

The bill passed with a unanimous vote.

Debate caused withdrawal of tree-planting bill

A bill to memorialize trees destroyed in the process of writing a new Student Body Constitution did not pass after opposition called into question the bill’s legitimacy.

The bill called to allocate $15 to purchase 10 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Trevor Melvin, the House Parliamentarian and coauthor of the bill, said that the bill was a fun way to do something good for the environment.

Brian McDermott, a representative for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, said the language of the bill seemed like a joke. McDermott did not understand why the House would pass a bill like this since it had never been done before.

Student Body President Jackie Wheeler questioned if the bill made a mockery of the duties of the House.

Kelsie Byers, a representative for the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, called for the bill to be enacted. If the results are good, she said she didn’t see the problem with doing a good thing by planting trees.

Melvin motioned to withdraw the bill because the bill was intended to be a light-hearted debate and fun change of pace, but respected those in opposition and wanted to withdraw it from the floor, he said.

The bill was withdrawn from the House floor with a majority vote.

Voting on constitution revisions begins Thursday. Caudill said the referendum for voting on the revisions to the Student Body Constitution will begin this Thursday at 7 a.m. and continue until midnight.

In other House news, Wheeler said free Scantrons will be available in the library Monday.