Student government polls students on recent amendment

After some students complained about a recent amendment to its bylaws made one student ineligible to run for representative, student government decided to gauge campus opinion.

On the presidential/vice presidential ballot, which went out Wednesday, there is an added question: “Do you believe an individual who has served on Student Government and was impeached/asked to resign should be eligible to run for future Student Government elections?”

There are four options: “No,” “Yes, but with an appeal process,” “Yes, without an appeal process” and “Abstain.” The polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.

Little said the results of this poll will most likely not be released to the student body, but there will be another discussion on its release next week.

The question refers to the amendment student government passed on Nov. 6—just three days before the ballot of student representative went out—that requires any student that wanted to run for student representative and “who has been impeached/asked to resign” to meet with student government before they can be on the ballot. Then, student government will vote on whether or not that student has shown enough change in dedication to be on the ballot.

The amendment only applied to this year’s election. Little said he will encourage the next administration to make this law a permanent constitutional change, which has a long appeal process involving the faculty. In a previous interview, Little said he did not plan on making this amendment permanent.

Sohrab Pasikhani ‘18, who wanted to run for student representative, is the only one of five people who left student government last year who was asked to resign. All others made a personal choice to resign.

President of Lafayette College Student Government Aaron Little ‘16 said the “spirit of the law” applies to all members who resigned, not only those asked to resign. Previously, Little called the language of the law a “clerical mistake.”

Pasikhani met with student government the day ballots for student representatives went out, and was denied a place on the ballot.

Little and Pasikhani said Pasikhani was asked to resign from student government because he missed multiple meetings. Little also added that Pasikhani contacted members of the administration as a representative, but was not on student government business.

After being denied a place on the ballot, Pasikhani expressed concerns to the administrations and other students. He collected signatures of over 400 students who he said wanted him to run.

On Sunday, he met with Vice President for Campus Life Annette Diorio, Dean of Students and advisor to student government Paul J. McLoughlin II and Little to discuss the amendment.

After the meeting, student government voted on whether or not they should redo the Class of 2018 elections, add a question to the president/vice presidential ballot about this issue to measure student opinion or do nothing. Ultimately, they voted to add a question to the ballot. No one wanted to redo the election.

Pasikhani said he was disheartened to see that student government did not seem to listen to the voices of the over 400 students who wanted him to run. He said he does not plan to run for office again.

About William Gordon

William Gordon '17 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. He writes about student government, law, financial aid and music. He's studying English and government & law with a minor in economics.

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