The Student Association E-Board election process has been moved up, with letters of intent due Feb. 20 and elections occurring March 6.
In spring 2014, letters of intent were due March 1 and elections were March 28.
According to Julie Kline, the chair of the planning, research and elections committee and a sophomore double-majoring in human development and English, the change will make the post-election transition process smoother.
“We moved up the deadline to provide an ample amount of time for the current E-Board to train the newly elected SA board,” Kline said. “This will also allow for more time for runoffs to take place if needed.”
Last year’s election complications decreased training time for the new E-Board members. The candidates for vice president for finance (VPF), vice president for programming (VPP) and vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) all faced runoff elections in the final weeks of the spring 2014 semester. This left the new SA members less than a month for training after election results were finalized.
On election day, a survey will be emailed to all students’ Binghamton University email accounts where they can vote for president, executive vice president (EVP), vice president for multicultural affairs (VPMA), VPF, VPAA and VPP. The survey will be active from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Additionally, the survey’s 12-hour window was a change from past years’ 24 hours. Kline said that the change aims to reduce possible voting coercion when students are with their friends after classes end for the day.
Although the elections committee did not implement this change in anticipation of grievances, Kline said, if issues do arise the new schedule’s earlier deadlines will help relieve time pressures.
According to Chris Zamlout, the SA EVP and a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, last year’s election timeline was difficult to handle, and these new deadlines should make the process easier.
“Since it was so late, it was around the time where my classes became more work heavy, midterms were approaching and I had to juggle many stressful things at once,” Zamlout said. “With this elections calendar, classes have not yet become as labor intensive, and our candidates can really focus on their campaigns.”
Elected candidates will also be able to start meeting with student groups earlier in the semester so they can build stronger relationships for the following year, Zamlout said.
Current SA representatives will still be able to fulfill their duties while the new candidates shadow them and gain experience. David Hagerbaumer, executive director of the SA, said that this extra time will allow for a smoother transition.
“There is a learning curve for anyone assuming a new position and set of responsibilities that is exacerbated by the absence of access to one’s predecessor,” Hagerbaumer said.
And with deadlines at a slower time in the semester, candidates will not have to juggle other extracurricular responsibilities in addition to elections, said Tom Sheehan, the VPF and a senior double-majoring in political science and economics.
“For the last couple of years that I have been here someone has always run from the Financial Committee,” Sheehan said. “With the earlier timeline, elections are now before the budget hearing starts, which take up a lot of the candidates’ time already.”