With elections quickly approaching, Student Government Association members have started to reconsider the voting system for selecting class representatives.
Currently, the voting system allows students to vote on their class representative based on their class hours and how they are listed in the Registrar’s Office versus the class they identify with, Speaker of the HouseLuke Harville said.
Harville said this affects a wide variety of students who have either transferred credit hours to TCU, fallen behind in hours taken or have additional hours that have put them ahead of their class.
Junior philosophy major David Shaver falls into this category. Even though he is in his junior year at TCU, he said he is classified as a senior by credit hours.
Shaver said he typically votes for class representative but does not find the system unfair.
Although the system does not affect first-year speech pathology major Kathleen Lebar, she said she does not think it is fair.
"I am a freshman with freshman hours," Lebar said, "I feel that it could potentially be unfair for others who do have more or less hours than their peers."
The voting system not only affects certain students who are voting, but also some of those who are running, Jansen Harrison, the SGA elections and regulations chair, said.
“It’s definitely problematic,” Harrison said. “It’s not fair for a freshman who was an overachiever in high school to come in with more hours, but they can’t appeal to the freshman class. They have to rely on the sophomore class for vote or whatever the case may be.”
Although the issue has been identified, Harville said no solution has been found as SGA works on improving the system.
“We are undergoing different initiatives to address the problem. We've already begun running tests of the system to fix any underlying problems,” Harville said. “We are searching for a new system to use in the future that would better address the problem of hours classification. It's still in the early stages, but I am confident that we can find a solution to this ongoing problem.”
However, a new voting system will not be in place before April’s elections, Harville said.
“SGA to this point hasn't had the resources to make a quick fix. It's being addressed, but large system changes like this takes time,” he said.
The upgrade to the system will take time because it will most likely involve reclassifying 8,500 undergraduate students based on their graduation date for the voting purposes, Harville said.
“We are moving toward a more fair and competitive election," Harrison said. "With the revamping that we have done and the push for change, we are hoping to see students more excited and wanting to get involved knowing that SGA can make a difference."