Student Government Association President Kelsie Johnson’s decision to veto a bill that would remove the runoff system from the organization’s elections should be commended.
Last week, Johnson vetoed the legislation that would allow for a student to win the election with only a plurality of the vote, not a majority. In the past, a runoff election has occurred if no candidate had a majority. A plurality is when any candidate gets the most votes in an election, whereas a majority requires more than half of the votes.
Especially disappointing was the lack of debate by House of Representatives members before the bill was passed during their Feb. 3 meeting.
Elections and Regulations Committee Chair Joey Parr phrased it aptly when he said, “I think it will lead to further strife in the future; I’m actually surprised the debate wasn’t as heated as it should have been.”
A lengthy debate took place at Tuesday’s meeting, however, when the House decided whether to override Johnson’s veto. The veto was overwhelmingly upheld by a vote of 28 to 7 with three abstentions.
Speaker of the House Haley Murphy said she was encouraged by the evening’s developments.
“I was extremely impressed by the amount of debate we had,” Murphy said. “We had a number of people give more than one speech that gave insight into the matter.”
The student body should also be reassured by this episode. The fact that the agents who represent every student on this campus took their responsibilities more seriously this time around cannot be ignored.
However, we are still left to wonder if important issues like this will fall through the cracks again.
The job of the House is to have lively debates over issues that affect the student body, not for the representatives to push legislation through without sufficient debate.
Associate editor David Hall for the editorial board.