Elections for Class Officers and Student Body Presidents postponed to Fall 2020

Yin Fei, Staff Writer

In response to growing curiosity about the elections for next year’s Student Body Presidents (SBPs) and class officers, the administration released an announcement earlier this week notifying students of their decision to postpone elections to the fall of 2020 and to suspend the usual policy that restricts SBPs from holding legacy club leadership positions.

 

Students should not have to worry about presenting speeches or collecting signatures digitally when running for an elected office position, Dean of Students Michael Dalo said. 

 

“Everybody is juggling a lot right now, with the pandemic, work, and expectations for their classes, so the idea of trying to handle elections remotely just seems to be kind of an unnecessary burden,” he said. 

 

Many Upper Division students think that this judgment call was the right choice in preventing further hardships, especially when faced with the possibility of virtual elections and lack of face to face contact, Student Body co-President Isha Agarwal (12) said.

 

Campaign traction puts a lot of stress on an individual, class officer Madhav Menon (11) said. “With everything going on, it’s completely understandable to put those off for a little while.”

 

With the primary means of communication being electronic, online campaigning, which is already prohibited, would also open doors to issues that cannot be monitored, Dalo said.

 

A significant part of campaigning is being able to communicate in person with peers about your platform, Agarwal said. “Online campaigning on social media is a slippery slope and could lead to posts and promotion that may put down other people.” 

 

Administrators also do not want to give advantages to some people who might be more active than others on social media, nor do they want people who are better with technology to be the ones who are adopting the votes, Menon said.

 

Another alteration that followed is that potential SBPs may apply for leadership positions in certain clubs if they wish, a rule that was previously meant to control overextension but has been reconsidered for this year, as applications come before elections, Dalo said.

 

Menon, who is planning to run for SBP and apply for a position in Model Congress next fall, said that most students agree that it should be a viable option for the SBPs.  

 

On another hand, Agarwal worries about this conjugation, as being SBP is a huge time commitment, she said. “I had to balance SBP, my workload, sports, and other extracurricular activities, and I realized that holding a leadership position in those other clubs would take a huge toll on me and my ability to act as SBP.”

 

Though Dalo is aware of the high time requirement, he thinks it is equally as important to let the elected officers have the opportunity to try for as many leadership positions as they are interested in, he said.

 

“There would definitely have to be a conversation about whether or not it’s really feasible, but we will navigate that if and when the situation presents itself,” Dalo said.