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First-Year Senator position modified

The rules are changing.

Well, at least for students running for First-Year Senator this semester.

According to Election Commission co-chair Alex Bergman, up until this point there hasn’t been designated rules for electing someone to the position, which was created last year.

“That’s a problem,” he told student senators during a presentation by he and his co-chair Jessie Hill at Thursday’s meeting.

The two spoke to Senate about next week’s vote to approve new bylaws to the Certified Election Rules.

Under the new guidelines, the number of votes each first-year student is allowed to cast for a candidate would depend on the number of candidates running.

The first election would run in the same way as last year, with students voting once for one candidate among all those running. The election rules state that the candidate receiving 50 percent plus one of the votes is the winner.

But in the first election, such a majority is highly unlikely as there are usually several candidates. As a result, the Election Commission works on the assumption that at least one runoff election will take place. It is in the runoff election that the new bylaws would be instated.

“The thought is that it will help produce a set of leading candidates to a greater extent than it would without it,” Bergman said.

In races where one to five candidates are running, voters will still get just one vote. But voters will cast two votes when there are six to nine candidates, three votes when there are 10 to 14 candidates, four in races between 15 to 19 candidates and five votes in races with 20 or more candidates running.

“I have no idea if it’s irrational, I honestly have no idea,” Bergman said. “But right now, I think it’s better than the current system.”

“And I think it’s kind of trial and error right now because the freshman election is so new,” Hill said. “In this class, it’s basically choosing one person out of 864, so we’re trying to narrow it down as much as we can.”

Senate will officially vote on Bergman and Hill’s proposal at the next meeting.

Also this week, Senate allocated funding to two campus organizations.

Drake Ultimate Club was given $851 to cover transportation, lodging and registration costs associated with the Children of the Corn Ultimate Tournament in Lincoln, Neb.

Residence Hall Association received $853.53 to send eight members to the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference in Springfield, Mo., where they’ll learn from schools across the country about campus programming options and leadership skills.

In addition, Senate recognized Drake Connect, a campus organization aiming to provide Drake students with opportunities for personal and professional networking with the Des Moines community, as an official student organization.

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