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Special election issues cause creation of rules committee

As a result of a special election that left three elected senators unseated, USF’s Student Government created a committee to review election policies.

Senate President Jennifer Belmont announced that a Title VII ad hoc committee will be officially established Tuesday.

The committee will be “examining, discussing, and amending” Title VII, the election code of the SG Statutes, Belmont said in an e-mail issued to the senate earlier this week.

“We created the committee because obviously we had problems with the past special elections and it was actually a recommendation from the adviser to fix them,” she said.

The Election Rules Commission held a special election in April to fill 17 vacant seats in the SG senate. Because no seats were open in the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Medicine at the time the election results were certified, the three senators-elect for those colleges could not be seated, Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Khalid Hassouneh said to the Oracle in May.

“During the election, or the election season, we had problems with conflicting statutes with the Election Rules Commission, (Rules of Procedure) and just a lot of grievances around the office and it made it very counterproductive,” Belmont said.

Michael Keane, the Senate Committee on Rules chairman, will chair the Title VII ad hoc committee. Other committee members will include the Senate Committee on Rules Vice–Chairwoman Tiffany Eveld, Lee Farrell, Nicole Garcia, Kelly Budnick and Attorney General Cordell Chavis.

Belmont said the committee will meet soon and that it could take three to four months to amend the legislation, which will then be presented to the senate for a vote.

– Yaffi Hilili