By Julia Ross-McGuire | September 26, 2022
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Discrepancies over seats in the Fall 2022 election have resulted in an executive order that has delayed the vice chair election.
The executive order stated that, “The Student Association honors the voices of all students, and in this case, International Students that could have the opportunity to be in a run-off and be rightfully elected to their Senate seat, as well as an Indigenous Quad representative, would not have the opportunity to run in or elect the Vice Chair of the Student Association Senate by the fifth (5) week of classes which is mandated by bylaw 200.7.2.”
The order was supported by President Walker, Vice President Medrano, Comptroller Burke, and Senate Chair Velez Galan.
This delay will cause a longer wait for student groups to receive supplemental funding for the 2022-2023 school year. This is due to the Senate bylaw 18.104.22.168 which states that, “Committee chair appointments shall be made by the Chair of the Student Association Senate through formal consultation with the Vice Chair of the Senate.”
These committees include appropriations, which works with student groups to get supplemental funding as well as dealing with other aspects of the Student Association (SA) budget.
A tumultuous end to last semester’s senate meetings, that saw delays with the passing of the 2022-2023 budget, has left some clubs with a lack of funding.
The decision came in an executive order passed by the president of SA, Enid Walker.
It was supported by the Chair of the Elections Commission, Catherine Devaney, who said at Wednesday’s meeting that delaying the vice chair election was the “democratic choice.”
As running for vice chair is open to all senators, new or returning, delaying the election will allow all to run.
The contested seats have been determined as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday with Devaney confirming at the meeting that one of the candidates dropped out of the race, preventing the need for a run-off election.
The meeting also saw the unanimous passing of bills that appointed Mairead McElroy as the Director of Gender and Sexuality Concerns and Ethan Warren as the Director of Dippikill.
Per the SA website, “The Department of Gender and Sexuality Concerns works to put on fun programs for the community as well as advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ students and faculty. The Department aims to make it easier for LGBTQ+ folks to navigate the University and life outside campus.”
Dippikill is “A private 1000-acre wilderness retreat facility owned by the Student Association of the University at Albany,” with the director managing its operations, as stated on their website.
A third bill unanimously appointed Billy Swindler, Ousmane Diallo, Jeremy Zheng, and Taylor Chambers to the UAlbany Auxiliary Services Board.
A separate bill also introduced a new procedure for purchase requests, allowing the Chief of Staff to submit purchase requests on behalf of all of the directors within the executive branch.
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Jalen Miller, believes it will make the system more transparent. After some debate, the bill was passed.
The vice chair election is expected to occur at next week’s meeting, on Wednesday, Sept. 28th in the Campus Center boardroom.