GUSA Senate Institutes Polling Places, New Executive Transition Date
Published: Monday, January 16, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 19, 2012 16:01
The GUSA senate voted Monday to establish a polling station in the entrance lobby of O'Donovan Dining Hall for the upcoming referendum on Student Activity Fee Endowment proposals.
Students will have the opportunity to vote on three separate plans for the use of the $3.4 million available. The Social Innovation and Public Service Fund, a Georgetown Energy initiative for solar panels and the New South Student Center effort have been allocated portions of the total sum. Each proposal is being put to an independent referendum.
Three computers will be used for electronic voting between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Jan. 24 to 26. The station will be staffed by two student poll watchers, who will be unassociated with the Georgetown University Student Association and receive compensation for their work.
Hiring selected poll monitors will prevent student volunteers who have strong opinions regarding the referendum from affecting voting results, according to Senate Vice Speaker Nate Tisa (SFS '14).
The polling stations in O'Donovan Hall, chosen because of the large number of students who pass through it each day, are being introduced in an attempt to increase student participation. Traditionally, students are notified of GUSA elections through email, but online voting often did not result in high levels of participation in the past. The new polling places would supplement independent online voting.
According to Tisa, if the polling station helps boost participation, a similar system may be used in next month's election for the GUSA executive.
Town halls for the SAFE referendum will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Reiss 283.
The senate also voted unanimously to change the date on which the members of the next executive team will transition into their new positions.
The next GUSA president and vice president, who will be elected on Feb. 23, will now be sworn in by the Saturday after spring break. Previously, the winning ticket took office almost immediately after being elected. The new executive team will now also have three weeks after their election to propose either a continuation or a modified structure of the executive cabinet to the senate.
According to Tisa, the longer timeframe will provide a smoother transition for the next members of the executive branch.