Emory Elections Board: Recall Undergraduate Elections!

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Brady Goodman-Williams
Brady Goodman-Williams signed this petition

Official Appeal to the Constitutional Board of Emory University

Hello! My name is Angela Jiang and I am a junior in the Emory College of Arts and Sciences. Every year, I enjoy seeing my peers become so deeply involved in collegiate political service because I see their service as a reflection of their potential as public servants in the future. However, let's be honest: this election has obviously already morphed into something that leaves the entire student body all so dissatisfied, confused, and distrusting of all candidates of a major position on campus, namely the SGA Presidency. These feelings are evident on social media and in conversations with many groups of my friends, and it leaves me troubled in a election process that should be celebrated. However, I want to personally voice my extreme dissatisfaction with the lack of public statements on these grievances and ethical misgivings that have recently been covered by the Emory Wheel and further rebutted by the Emory Political Review, and it leaves me with strong mistrust and concern enough to reach out to you all today.

If these elections cannot be conducted in such a manner that produces official statements or documentation to promote transparency on so many obvious events with unethical conduct, how can we, as a student body, trust the entire administration moving forward of any integrity or honesty?

To ensure that we at least maintain our basic democratic rights in asking for fair, transparent elections, I am asking for the Emory Elections Board to institute a recall for this entire election, or at least a pause in the current cycle to fully investigate the numerous (putting it lightly) allegations against many major candidates.

One major flaw in the current ballot (that I should have called out earlier, I've voted already rip) is that "No Confidence" is not an option for every single one of the choices for every candidate on a ballot, except for the one candidate who would otherwise run unopposed. The concept of "no confidence" has variations in which it does not only have to apply to a singlestanding candidate, but should be added onto any other candidacy position should the people feel like none of the candidates are qualified enough to win the position. In presidential, state, and local elections, "no confidence" is an option on every candidacy position.

I frankly felt very uncomfortable voting for a majority of candidates because of a lack of this option, and I am certain that I am not alone in this regard. I think that at least for this reason--if we want to put all the troublesome ethical scandals aside that you must be aware of--should be enough alone to demand for a recall of these elections. If anything, our ask for the addition of "No Confidence" on every candidacy is very simple, and almost not rigorous enough in evaluating other structures of college elections: in the University of St. Andrews, for instance, there is an option for students to select RON (Reopen Nomination) that not only expresses a lack of confidence in any candidate, but also opens up the position to a renomination of someone more qualified. As a University we should structure our governance and election structure after those of other universities, and look critically at our current structure to see if it is competent enough to meet basic elections standards.

We should have the basic right to recall or call seriously into action and questions our elections process, and to deny that now in college is extremely disheartening as we attempt to exercise our rights in the future as engaged citizens, when this process should be inspiring us all to become more strongly involved with instituting reform in our governance structure.

*ACTION STEPS DEMANDED* We are asking for the following actions to be made:

1. The option to recall or institute a temporary halt to the entire 2018-2019 undergraduate elections process (both of which are not addressed in the Code of Elections);

2. The creation of a referendum to contest Code of Elections, Part III, Article 2 to always allow a space for "No Confidence" or the option for a write-in candidate for every candidacy, regardless of the number of candidates running, and to publicize and encourage the student body further of the very option to apply as a write-in candidate;

3. If 1 & 2 are not heeded, the option for students to CANCEL their votes, which is not illegal or even addressed in the Code of Elections.

In light of the fact that elections are closing at 8PM on Friday, March 30th (the day that this petition was made), I ask that you all strongly consider, again, recalling or taking a halt to the current election cycle in the name of fair ethical evaluations and in the spirit of conducting these elections in a serious and realistic manner. We hope that we can receive a response in a timely enough manner before the closure of the elections.

Thank you for your time in reading this, and may we all strive forward together for a a culture of integrity, celebration, and inspiration in our political processes moving forward. As a generation fighting extreme injustices in our existing political structures, we simply can't afford to step aside otherwise.