Finance changes made in SGA election process

Students who plan to run for the Student Government Association might want to take note of some changes that will be enforced in the next election. Updates have been made to the election procedures so that candidates running for executive positions must follow stricter rules regarding finances during this year’s election. “I believe the changes to the operational documents will be beneficial for the candidates in this year’s election,” William Vitagliano, senator and candidate for vice president, said. There will now be stricter policies to enforce the financial cap and an increase in how often each candidate must turn in receipts showing funds that have been spent toward their campaign, SGA Vice President David Maciewicz said. This year, candidates still have a financial cap of $150 while campaigning, Claire Chevrier, speaker of the house and election chair, said. Candidates will turn in their receipts, or a PDF image of the receipt, daily to the election chair to show that they are staying within their campaign budget, Chevrier said. Vitagliano said he believes handing in receipts on a daily basis is a great idea. “It lets candidates know and become aware of how much they have spent toward the campaign, avoiding overspending and lost receipts,” he said. Before these changes were made in the election process, candidates had to turn in their receipts at the end of the election, Chevrier said. If a mistake was made it did not have to be reviewed until after the election, she said. Issues with last year’s presidential election between Kofi Mensah and Claire Chevrier were said to be a large factor behind the changes. “This caused problems last year when a candidate had accidentally violated rules but technically did not have to turn in receipts,” Chevrier said. President Kofi Mensah was sanctioned last year during the campaign for overspending and removed from the ballot for not following the terms of the sanction, according to a Cynic article from last year. He was then put back on the ballot after appealing to the SGA, the article stated. If a candidate fails to follow the guidelines outlined by the operational documents, then the election committee will investigate whether or not a sanction is necessary, Chevrier said. “Having Claire as elections chair means that she went out of her way to make sure what happened to her last year doesn’t happen to other candidates,” Amanda Adams, chair of Student Activities Committee, said.