AMS to review elections policy following unprecedented team dissolution

Team ECN’s dissolution prior to voting reflects trend of lack of engagement in student government

The AMS offices in the JDUC.
The AMS offices in the JDUC.
Credit: 
Journal file photo

Following the dissolution of Team ECN on Jan. 28, an executive team will now be appointed at a special meeting of the AMS Assembly. Team ECN’s dissolution presents an unprecedented situation in AMS history, prompting the elections team to review their current policies and procedures.

Until 6 p.m. this Thursday, students are invited to send a written note of interest to AMS Secretary Neil Sengupta indicating their desire to be considered for the executive team appointment. The only requirement — determined by a Jan. 28 Judicial Committee hearing — is that the candidates have paid both their AMS and faculty fees.

Candidates will then be required to present their case to AMS Assembly and show why they deserve to be elected as the 2018-19 executive team. From there, Assembly will vote on whether the team’s appointment will occur immediately or whether they will be required to engage in another election period.

Sengupta and AMS Chief Returning Officer Sarah Obonsawin met with The Journal to discuss the current situation and how they’ll move forward.

“Obviously this is an unprecedented situation,” Sengupta said. “We have never had a team fulfill nomination requirements and then dissolve prior to the balloting days.”

Sengupta also said this lack of engagement isn’t limited to the AMS — many faculty society positions are also either currently unfilled or uncontested.

According to Sengupta and Obonsawin, the AMS elections team will use the knowledge gained in this situation to prepare future students for any “worst case scenarios.” Students are encouraged to engage in the process of reviewing and amending elections policy by voicing comments at AMS Assembly.

“Our goal is to ensure that students have the chance to engage in the process [as well as] any candidates that come forward as a result of it,” Obonsawin said. “As always, the conversation will happen with Assembly, and we invite students to provide feedback on any way that the elections procedure can be improved.”

Sengupta said he hopes to edit elections policy by the end of his term, if possible. Any students are invited to a later Mar. 1 Assembly to share feedback on how policy can be amended to improve the elections process.

Corrections

The article has been updated to reflect which assembly students are invited to share feedback on how policy can be amended to improve the elections process.

The Journal regrets the error.

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