SGA election commission assumes role of empty judicial branch

Josh Peck, News Editor

The Student Government Association (SGA) voted on Jan. 30 to create a temporary new election commission in order to promote SGA elections and to increase voter turnout. This commission will temporarily replace the SGA judicial branch, which previously had the responsibility of promoting elections.

SGA President Jack Rust proposed the creation of the election commission after Chief Justice Clara Akwarandu resigned, leaving the judicial branch empty.

SGA is hosting general elections in March, and all positions except for freshman senator positions will be up for election.

“The election commission would be composed of five highly-motivated students that would lead all efforts in promoting the March SGA elections alongside the Transportation Fee referendum. This group will meet weekly to coordinate tabling efforts and discuss strategy with the end result of increasing turnout,” Rust said.

Rust has already identified five people to make up the commission. However, if any more students declare interest in joining the commission, SGA will have to vote on who to confirm on Feb. 6 at the next SGA General Assembly. Students who want to be in the election commission cannot run for elected SGA office in March in order to preserve impartiality. All UTSA students are eligible to be a part of the commission.

To support the newly created election commission, Rust requested that his $1,000 presidential line-item be reallocated to create a voter information guide on the candidates running so that voters have a better idea of why a candidate is running for office. The presidential line item gives presidents personal discretion to allocate $1,000 toward something they feel students will benefit most from.

“During the spring elections last year we got just about 3% of the student body [to vote], which, compared to universities across the country, is incredibly small,” Rust said. “The way I can affect that immediately is … shift [the $1,000 presidential line-item] to general elections … and create a voter information guide.”

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