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September 22, 2023

SGA meeting features updates on election procedures

By ALEX DRAGONE | March 26, 2015

Upcoming student elections, food improvement and streamlining of the Hub were all on the agenda for this week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting held on Tuesday evening in the Charles Commons Salon B.

John Corbett, head of the Committee on Student Elections (CSE), provided an update on the upcoming SGA Executive Board election along with new rules for the process.

Corbett announced the information sessions for Executive Board elections, which were held Tuesday and Wednesday.

Students who plan to run for positions must submit their petition forms on March 30. Corbett announced that the submission time for petitions has been restricted to the interval between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on that Monday.

“In the past, turning in the petition form at any time on the day that we say that it’s due to the monitor in the Mattin Center [was allowed],” Corbett said. “We’re actually going to change that a little bit this year, kind of tighten it up, because that’s not the best way to do it. To just have everybody coming in and handing it to a monitor, who doesn’t really know what’s going on or putting it in a folder or something like that.”

Corbett explained how, in particular, CSE plans to change the election process.

“So what we’re doing this year is... either myself or another member of the CSE, as well as [Director of Student Activities] Rob Turning, are going to be there. And you’re going to turn in your submission form to Rob or one of the members of the CSE.”

Corbett also announced that the CSE will be asking candidates to scan and email their petition forms.

March 30 will also be the day of the Executive Board candidates debate. The debate will feature two rounds of questions directed to the candidates by members of the CSE and one round of questions from the audience.

“That should be a little fun. It got interesting last year,” Corbett said.

Voting for the Executive Board will take place April 3-5. Results will be announced on April 6.

Voting for Class Council elections will take place from April 17-19 and results will be announced on April 20.

Corbett also announced that a retreat will be held for newly elected SGA members and that this year’s electronic voting will include a club census in which students will write which clubs they are a part of and how many hours per week they participate.

“If we can get the word out to student groups then we actually have a way to increase voter turnout,” Corbett said. “Heads of student groups are going to want their members to come out and indicate that they’re members of those groups because that could maybe impact funding.”

Laura Supple, a member of Real Food Hopkins, spoke at the meeting about her group’s work and possible SGA involvement. Real Food Hopkins is the University’s chapter of the Real Food Challenge.

“Real Food Challenge kind of takes advantage of the fact that universities, as institutions, have a tremendous amount of purchasing power in the food system,” Supple said. “And it also kind of deals with the fact that as customers of the campus food system, we have a right to kind of have a say in what sort of food systems our dollars support.”

Real Food Hopkins works with the University to encourage the use of more locally grown foods that are produced with ecologically-sound methods in Hopkins eateries. In November of 2013, University President Ronald J. Daniels signed a commitment that the university would spend 35 percent of the University’s food budget on such foods by 2020.

“So that was really exciting for us. It was a great step in the right direction,” Supple said. “But now we have to make sure that we actually uphold that commitment.”

To that end, Real Food Hopkins has a food systems working group, made up of students, dining workers, farmers and others involved in the University’s food system, that advocates for greater use of “real” foods. Supple asked of the SGA that some of its members serve on the Food Systems Working group to better represent the student body in making food decisions. Supple said that the University spends 27 to 29 percent of its budget on real foods.

The SGA also discussed ongoing efforts to improve the Hub, the University-sponsored website for Hopkins news. Discussion focused around the events page of the Hub, which lists upcoming activities on campus. In the past year the events page has become much more comprehensive.

Members advocated for increased use of pictures next to events for a sleeker design, integration with the daily announcements and listing events happening in Baltimore.

Lastly, the SGA began the process of extensively revising the Undergraduate Student Government Association Constitution, a process that will continue in the coming weeks.

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