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Student Senate Update- Petition process for elected positions re-opened

At the urging of the Student Senate Election Committee, the petition phase for the positions of student body president (SBP), student body vice president (SBVP) and University System of New Hampshire (USNH) student board representative has reopened and will remain open until noon on Friday, March 10. To be included on the ballot, a student must obtain 300 undergraduate names and turn them in for validation by the Election Committee by that deadline.

As of Sunday night, each position only had one person on the ballot: the ticket of Elena Ryan and Jose Calvo for SBP and SBVP, and Christian Merheb for USNH student board representative.

“It was brought up that there were a lot of factors that kind of inhibited people’s abilities to collect signatures or submit petitions, or even ask us about the process,” said Student Senate Speaker Alex Fries, who attended Friday’s committee meeting. Such factors, he said, were the amount of snow days and holidays.   

The election will officially open on March 29 at 12 a.m. and will close on March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Fries said the ultimate goal is to do the voting this year through WildcatLink, but if issues were to arise, the voting could also be through Blackboard and MyCourses.

The lone resolution proposed and passed by the senate on Sunday’s meeting was Resolution 23, which urges the university to fill vacancies in the UNH Counseling Center, while also ensuring a diverse work force there. The resolution, whose lone author was Community Development Chairperson Douglas Marino, also calls for an investigation into nine recent counseling center staff resignations.

Seven appointments were approved by senate on Sunday: Cameron Cook for the role of executive officer, Bryce Moser for Student Senate business manager, Nicholas Barnard for Student Activity Fee (SAFC) Committee chief financial official and the group of Gordon Guilmette, Jose Calvo, Nick LaCourse and Nooran Alhamdan for SAFC senators.  Cook, student body president of the 2015 academic year, was appointed at the recommendation of Fries.

“[Cook] gets how it gets down, and he brings experience and that continuity that we really needed,” Fries said.

Within the next four days, a petition hearing will occur regarding a decision by SAFC to give $10,000 to the a cappella group Not Too Sharp to fund the production of their next album, according to Fries. The initial decision by SAFC was made two weeks ago and, since then, a petition to further discuss the issue was brought up by the duo of Christian Merheb and SAFC Senator Kunal Kapur. The hearing will feature a board of 11 members with Fries serving as the chair. Ted Kirkpatick, UNH dean of students, has been invited to attend the meeting. Further coverage of this topic will be featured in this week’s upcoming issues. 

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