Several entities have expressed dissatisfaction with the current election code and called for a revised election code following the series of complaints and appeals in this year’s Student Government (SG) executive alliance process.
Student body presidential candidate Kallen Dimitroff, government and history senior, said she has drafted a more streamlined election code to address areas she feels are unclear.
“This election process wasn’t done very well, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the code was very badly written,” Dimitroff said. “The revised version is a lot shorter. We took out a lot of the language that was confusing for students, we took out fines and we removed the rules that were added in response to very specific situations. I cut out almost everything, and I would say it’s a pretty reformed version.”
Dimitroff said her revised version of the election code is not meant to be a final draft.
“I wanted students to be able to give feedback about this document, and it was created with the intent of being transparent to the student body,” Dimitroff said. “It has to be brought before the SG assembly, and it has to be revised there. It will go through a pretty rigorous inspection.”
Zachary Long, vice chair of the Election Supervisory Board (ESB) and human relations sophomore, said he agrees the election code should be revised but has not read Dimitroff’s draft to maintain impartiality in this year’s election.
“There are some parts [of the current code] that aren’t very clear and are open for interpretation,” Long said. “The code also doesn’t say which specific actions warrant certain classes of violations. It was up to the ESB and the UT Supreme Court to interpret the code and use precedent to determine classes of violations.”
Long said five entities — University Co-op, University Unions, Texas Student Media, Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) and Student Government — currently meet to pass a common election code. Long said SG also has its own specific election code, and changes to that code must be approved by the SG assembly.
Zachary Stone, emeritus Supreme Court Chief Justice and Plan II Honors senior, said Dimitroff contacted him to read over her revised election code.
“I think it’s great that Kallen and her campaign are looking at tangible ways to reform the code,” Stone said. “I think it’s good that Dimitroff has put forth a proposal, but I don’t like that her proposal basically uses the existing election code as a template and then tweaks it from there. I would want much more radical changes to the election code … really starting at a blank page and everyone’s collective knowledge rather than start with the existing code and working on what’s contradictory.”
Wills Brown, GSA president and Higher Education Administration graduate student, said Dimitroff contacted him about revising the election code last Friday and also thinks an election code revision is necessary.
“[Dimitroff] told me her campaign was going to push a revised, much shorter draft of the election code,” Brown said. “The code, as it is written now, is far too wordy — which can cause confusion when it comes to the rules.”