At the Student Government Association meeting on Tuesday evening, a bill was proposed that would allow students to sign more than one executive office candidate’s petition.
This amendment, which was sponsored by Sen. Marcus Ireland, would amend a current SGA bylaw that only allows students to sign one presidential candidate’s petition. Currently, if a student signs more than one petition, their name will be void from both petitions.
Candidates for executive office of SGA must gather 500 signatures, or 5 percent of the students under SGA’s jurisdiction, to be on the ballot.
Ireland, who is also a presidential candidate in the upcoming SGA election, said this change will allow students to have more opportunities to hear multiple candidates’ views.
“By making this change, we increase the students’ ability to choose who they want on the ballot,” Ireland said. “Right now, we limit their choice by saying they can only sign one person’s.”
Sen. Josh Sorbe, who is also a candidate in the SGA presidential election, said petitions are a way for students to increase and control the candidate options they see on the ballot.
“I think students should be able to sign whatever petitions they want to have the candidates that they want on the ballot,” Sorbe said. “Then, they can continue to gather as much information as they can about the candidates to make their final decision on election day.”
Sorbe said he and Ireland aren’t supporting the amendment to benefit themselves.
“This isn’t specific to this election,” Sorbe said.
The amendment could go into effect before the upcoming SGA presidential election.
Also at the meeting, senators discussed a previously introduced bill that would allocate $4,500 of SGA reserve funding to purchase earplugs for USD musicians.
These special earplugs would protect students’ hearing during long practices, but would still allow them to hear their instruments.
Senator-at-large Michelle Novak, a first-year doctor of audiology student who sponsored the bill, said it’s essential to protect students’ hearing.
“Hearing loss can be really detrimental to these musicians,” Novak said. “I feel like preventing that before it happens will be good for their careers.”
The senators also unanimously voted to allocate $1,600 to the Vermillion Literary Project to print the journal “The Red Coyote.”