SG reform passes after technical bug shuts down voting

Ahsika Sanders

Students overwhelmingly approved reforms to the Student Government constitution Thursday night after a technical glitch shut down voting for several hours.

The amendments to the SG’s constitution will restructure their external agencies and add first-year representatives, including freshmen, transfers and graduate students. The changes, SG leaders said, would improve new student representation. More than 2,300 students cast their votes, with 93 percent approving the proposed reforms.

The reforms — which are the result of seven months of research by a student-run SG Reform Task Force — are the most comprehensive SG has ever seen, said SG vice president Muneezeh Kabir.

“We’re going to see a lot of structural changes to SG, and I think it will really change the culture of it, which is what [SG President] Scott [Parks] and I, when we were running, were hoping to do,” she said.

Kabir said the new agency structure will give students more opportunities to get involved. Parks said he believes the SG reform will make the organization more valuable to students.

“I think it will be a much more effective and efficient Student Government,” Parks said. “In the midst of the budget crisis, it’s the right time for SG to be streamlining.”

SG extended the special election by seven hours Thursday night because of a problem with the voting system. Election Supervisory Board chair Eric Nimmer said he received several text messages and phone calls Wednesday night from concerned students who were unable to vote.

“A lot of people said they just wanted to clarify that the message they got was true,” Nimmer said. “Thank God everyone was notified, so hopefully we reached enough people to make up for anyone we may have lost.”

The voting was supposed to run from 8 a.m. Wednesday to 5 p.m. Thursday, but the system shut the election down Wednesday around midnight. SG reopened the election from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday.

“Students were confused, and I was confused, but I figured out [Thursday] morning that because of this glitch, the system had ended last night and [wouldn’t] resume again until 5 p.m. [Thursday],” said SG Executive Director Jimmy Talarico.