The GUSA legislative assembly voted Sunday to separate the GUSA presidential election and the Yard Student Association referendum, delaying the referendum vote until March 29.

The GUSA representative elections, previously scheduled for arch 19, will be indefinitely postponed, pending the outcome of the referendum. The GUSA Assembly also approved a motion stipulating that the representative elections cannot be after May 1.

After significant discussion, an earlier motion that suspended the bylaws to push back both the presidential election and the Yard referendum to late March did not pass.

Eleven of the 16 Assembly members attended the special meeting.

Freshman class representative Anthony Marinello (COL ’04) said that he made a motion to reconsider the vote to move both the election and the referendum because of the low attendance, and that he plans to reopen the vote at Tuesday’s meeting if more representatives are present.

“Everyone should have a say in such an important vote, and we would definitely be better off voting as an entire group,” arinello said. “Also, another day or two could give us more time to educate ourselves and talk to each other about it.”

Senior class representative Jamal Epps (COL ’01) said he supported delaying the referendum vote because more discussion is needed.

“We still need to sit down and talk. GUSA needs to change and the Yard constitution in its present form isn’t that change,” he said. “We’re looking for something that both sides can get behind and support, and I think that’s a very real possibility.”

GUSA President Tawan Davis (COL ’01) said he was undecided about the Assembly’s decision.

“The most important thing is to be fair on how we make decisions . I am not totally convinced anymore,” Davis said.

Spokesmen of the Yard and Students Against the Yard both said they preferred holding the election and the referendum on the same day.

“I am in favor of a compromise to produce the best document . and everyone has to give a little,” spokesman for Students Against the Yard Aaron Polkey (COL ’02) said. “I understand the concerns about having more time before the presidential election, but as students, as good people, I think it would have been better to take that risk.”

Yard supporters said they were concerned that with the separate election days, it would be more difficult to garner the 25 percent affirmative student vote, approximately 1,625 students, necessary to pass the Yard referendum.

“Ideally, I want both elections to be moved back . but since that can’t happen, we still need the time to open up discussion on this,” Yard spokesman Matt Brennan (SFS ’03) said. “It’s troublesome that SAY and the Yard sat before the assembly and both asked them to put the two elections together, and we asked them to reconsider it several times.”

GUSA Elections Chair Will Cosmas (COL ’01) said he did not support separating the presidential election and the referendum.

“If the presidential election was pushed back, I can’t ensure that no pre-campaigning will take place . and that’s something I would have to throw [candidates] out of the race for,” he said. “I recommend looking at the Yard in its own light, because the issue has received so much interest from students.”

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