Students who need money to run for student body officer positions during next year’s elections will be able to receive up to $500 from the Student Government Association to finance their campaigns.
House of Student Representatives members adopted a resolution during Tuesday night’s SGA meeting to support giving campaign money to students, with 76 percent of House members in favor of the legislation. The resolution was introduced by Student Body President Cody Westphal.
SGA will set aside $4,000 in the 2014-2015 Budget to be evenly distributed among the candidates who need the money, Westphal said. Each candidate could receive up to $500, he said.
Only students running for contested positions will be able to receive money, Westphal said.
He said the idea behind the resolution came from his own experience running and funding campaigns, as well as talking with students and other House members.
“We don’t know how many people out there don’t run [for positions] because they don’t have the money,” Westphal said.
The resolution would give the need-based money to students who, without the money, would not be able to afford the expenses of a campaign, he said.
“I think this is great for those who may not be able [to run a campaign] in the first place,” Lydia Longoria, Neeley School of Business representative, said.Longoria will serve as Treasurer next year.
Class of 2016 Representative Ethan Murray also said that the money would help more candidates be able run for student body officer positions and create more contested elections.
However, concerns were raised regarding the resolution.
“This is students’ money, and we are representing students. And when I want to represent someone, I’m going to use my personal money because I believe it’s what’s best for the school,” said Ryker Thompson, John V. Roach Honors College representative.
Students asking for money will have to submit 150 student signatures to the Elections and Regulations Committee chairperson in order to prove they are qualified to run for a student body officer position, Westphal said.
This is required before students submit a request for campaign money, according to the legislation.
Students could be removed as candidates after receiving SGA money if they exceed the $500 campaign spending limit, according to the resolution.
“We’re not just funding our campaigns, we’re funding our values [as SGA],” Westphal said.
Also during the meeting…
• A bill to fund the awareness and promotional material for the TCU FrogSpeak website was passed unanimously. FrogSpeak is a student-lead project that partners with the RUOK? Campaign to address mental health issues and illnesses.
• A bill to provide section stickers at Market Square and a bill to define voting requirements for general elections were tabled until next week.