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Friday, August 12, 2022
ASM special election would change start and end date for incoming session

The idea of what our student government does is often misconstrued. 

ASM special election would change start and end date for incoming session

Finals are stressful enough on their own, but for incoming and returning Associated Students of Madison representatives, it’s even more hectic — the new session of Student Council takes over during the last week of classes.

UW-Madison students received an email Monday with a link to vote in the body’s special election, which includes a referendum question that would amend the start and end dates for ASM members’ terms.

Voting yes means that the incoming 26th session of Student Council will start their terms on April 24, 2019 instead of May 1, 2019. The student finance committee would also share that same date change. A no vote would keep the timeline as it is.

SSFC Vice Chair Kristi Parsons said the change would hopefully make the appointment process among all ASM committees be more efficient and pleasant.

“For folks who are looking to run for leadership on SSFC it is especially hard to connect with new representatives appointed through nominations board before the first SSFC meeting,” Parsons said. “Scheduling the first SSFC meeting is always tricky. By the time Council meets twice and appoints reps to SSFC, it’s the beginning of finals and finding a time that works for a majority of the committee is tricky.”

Rep. Jeremy Swanson agreed, adding that it’s unfortunate that they had to create a special election in order to pass the start and end date change.

“It will definitely be a valuable change in the future to avoid the time crunch of ASM leadership elections and Nominations Board during finals week,” Swanson said.

Student Council passed legislation earlier in the month that called for the special election to take place. Although Student Judiciary previously voted to keep the name change off of the ballot back in February, the Student Election Commission has $3,000 left in its budget line to pay the UW Survey Center.

The legislation cited a number of adjustments — including old session dates, financial policies and deadlines — that would have to be made to the bylaws if the referendum passes. 

In their legislation, cosponsors Shared Governance Chair Deena Whitwam and Nominations Board Chair Evan Pelke cited the summer as the ideal time frame for identifying those inconsistencies so the adjustments could be made in the fall.

The polls will close Tuesday night at 5 p.m. The results will be posted on the ASM homepage after Student Judiciary confirms the results at their meeting. According to ASM Assistant Director of Staff and Programs/ Campus Organizer Kelly Krein, results will be up around 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

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