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DASB Senate debates election code change

December 5, 2016

The DASB Senate met on Wednesday with the student board of Foothill College to share ideas and open doors. The Foothill students were able to get a firsthand look of how a DASB meeting is conducted.

The two parties were visibly excited to have the opportunity to meet.

“I want to express extreme appreciation that y’all are here,” Senator Stephanie Rigsby said.

The meeting covered the DASB Senate elections code, including why the bar for the percentage of votes required was being raised so close to the beginning of elections.

“Because this hasn’t been voted on yet, we are already violating our code,” Rigsby said. “We’re in the process of changing this because it was messed up.”

The senators explained that while it had originally been at around 20 percent, the number had been too high and not enough senators had run, so it was lowered to 10 percent. “We’re just trying to make sure that enough people run, only thirty people ran last time,” Rigsby said.

Then when senators ran, it caused too many to gain entry without putting in the hard work expected of a campaign. This was why the threshold is being raised to a more realistic 15 percent.

The senate discussed the need for outreach and their desire to increase the number of people who attempt to run to stimulate engagement.

“The issue is we need more people running,” Rigsby said.

The senators discussed the possibility of extending the elections deadline, but decided to wait until the day came to see if it would be necessary.

DASB adviser John Cognetta recommended that the DASB adhere to all of their codes.

“I have to warn you very seriously that someone could accuse you of favoritism for changing the date,” Cognetta said.

“I don’t think anyone would accuse us of being unethical, especially when this is a public meeting,” Rigsby said. The aim of changing the dates would be to improve the process and allow for a more competitive race for the next senate, and to increase the amount of people running.

“I agree with Stephanie that we should just wait until that day and then extend it if we need it,” Indu Kundam said.

“If we approve this without adjusting it, (people running) will only have a week to campaign for votes,” Senate President Matthew Zarate said.

As the meeting concluded, both groups exchanged praise for their respective accomplishments and gave each other feedback on what they could improve.

“What I’d like to do in the future is have our execs come over and introduce you to our way of doing things,” Rigsby said.

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