Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Election Timeline Called Too Tight

Carmela Innamorato was one of five write-in candidates for the Treasure Coast campus House of Representatives. She says she missed the regular candidacy deadline, Aug. 29, by one day.

“I was going to turn it in on time, but I couldn’t get to campus by that day. Things came up,” says Innamorato.

She’s an elementary education major who was appointed to an empty seat during the summer and ran for election to keep it. With 38 votes – the most votes for a write-in on her campus – she was successful where three others didn’t make it. On the Boca campus, none of the nine write-ins won.

“I don’t think there’s enough time to get on the ballot,” Innamorato says. “And we should’ve waited at least a month to get the word out about candidates.”

SG Adviser Rivka Felsher, who helped revise the election rules in May, agrees.

“It’s a fairer process when there’s more time. I would love to see the election pushed to October,” says Felsher.

But the two-day election, which concluded on Sept. 17 just before midnight, saw about 1,320 voters across all campuses. That’s less than 5 percent of FAU’s students.

Felsher admits there was a chance to change the dates before this election period started, but didn’t realize the schedule would be such a problem. She thought it was something her oversight could fix.

“One of the things we missed the opportunity for was changing the deadlines,” says Felsher. “I realize now it’s not about [my] administrative support, it’s just that statutes are tight.”

Felsher also made clear that while she favors moving the election period back, she wants that initiative to come from students. And at least a few of the SG student leaders agree the timeline should change.

“Trust me, I was not happy about that timeline,” says Elections Chair Jared Stark, who oversaw the election process with support from the campus SG advisers.

He thinks the two-week candidacy period, which started 10 days before the semester did, may have reduced participation.

“The timing is restrictive, particularly for freshmen,” says Stark. “They’re busy buying books and getting used to the campus.”

Newly appointed Chief Justice Mike Burdman voiced a similar view, while nodding to Stark’s efforts.

“Jared [Stark]’s been on top of everything and is doing a good job,” Burdman says. “But having candidacy a week early threw things off a little bit.”

Burdman, a studio art major, has served in SG for over a year. In his new position, he’s responsible for upholding the SG Constitution and addressing rule violations, including election rules. He promises to “serve with my heart, as always.”

House Speaker James Tobin – another art major who ran for re-election and won – hopes Stark can get the problem fixed for next time.

“Changes have to be made at least nine weeks out, so hopefully that’s the first thing on Jared [Stark]’s table,” Tobin says.

Stark promises to make recommendations at the end of his term. “Yes, definitely, I want to see that changed.”

In the mean time, Stark wants to fix a more immediate problem. He’s focused on getting those empty seats filled. There are now three empty seats in the House of Representatives for the Broward campuses – and all Senate seats for Broward and Treasure Coast are empty, too.

“I’ll be advertising vacancies after the election. I want to make students aware [of opportunities],” says Stark. “I want to keep SG active and full. I hate seeing open seats all year.”

The open jobs will be posted, and applicants can be appointed without actually being elected.

“Election is obviously preferable,” says Felsher, but it’s not the only way to get in.

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