The GUSA Senate met Feb. 10 to certify the GUSA Executive election results. Norman Francis Jr. (COL ’20) and Aleida Olvera (COL ’20) won the election on Feb. 8 for the positions of President and Vice President.
The pair beat the runner up, Nicki Gray (NHS ’20), by forty votes in an election with thirty-two percent turnout.
Grant Castle (SFS ’21), vice chair of the GUSA Election Commission, presented the results of the election to the Senate and urged the Senate to fully certify the results. He said there had been no complaints of misconduct. Fifteen were reported in last year’s executive election.
Castle also asked that the Senate consider a few aspects of the election system before elections are held again next year. First, the issue of Gray running alone brought up the question of whether or not a single candidate was allowed to enter the race. The commission had allowed it this election, but felt the actual rules were unclear.
Castle also said that some students had expressed concern with the instant runoff system of the election, in which students rank their choices, and if their first choice is eliminated, their vote transfers to the next choice, and so on. He said there is a concern that this skews the true results, and that the winner should either be determined by a plurality or a live runoff. However, Castle said that he personally feels the current system is adequate.
The Senate also elected Leo Arnett (SFS ’22) to fill the vacancy on the Finance & Appropriations Committee.
The committee has just finished accepting applications for funding and will begin to consider them in the coming weeks. Presentations will be made by club boards at the budget summit on Feb. 24.
Sen. Gary Xie (SFS ’20) updated the Senate on the plastic-free efforts around campus. There is a campaign currently to make clubs more environmentally friendly, which includes training sessions and plastic-free pledges for students and organizations. These efforts stem from a resolution GUSA passed last semester.
Chief of Staff Alejandro Escobar (SFS ’21) briefed the Senate on plans for the last month of the Martinez-Chick administration. He said that in light of criticisms about a lack of transparency made by candidates in the past election, the policy tracks would begin releasing statements to publicize their work.
The GUSA Senate will meet again Monday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. in Healy 106.