Of the 18 available seats on the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Student Government Senate, 11 senators have been elected, leaving seven unfilled seats.
Student Government bylaws in the case of Senate vacancies state:
- The Internal Affairs Committee shall administer the process for filling vacancies among Senator positions.
- Candidates for appointment to a vacant senate seat must complete an application prepared by the Internal Affairs Committee and meet all of the requirements laid out in the constitution and these bylaws. Applications must be available for no less than 7 calendar days before the deadline for submitting applications.
- Appointments to fill vacancies in the Senate shall require a majority vote of the Senate. Each properly applying candidate shall be voted upon by the Senate. Should more candidates apply than there are vacant seats, the candidates receiving the highest vote totals shall be appointed until all vacant seats are filled. Should a tie exist, a run-off vote shall be held.
- Appointed senators shall serve for the duration of the term of office to which they were appointed.
“The appointment process requires students to attend both a general student government meeting, a student government committee meeting, get 50 signatures from different EMU students, and have 3 proposals as to what they [the candidate] will do while in Senate,” Colton Ray, Student Body Vice President, said in an interview with the Echo. “Proposals should be nonpartisan and advocate for student’s rights and interests” Ray said.
With physical distancing in mind, Student Body President Luis Romero hopes to change the application process so that the 50 signatures from different students on the EMU campus, usually required to apply for Senate, becomes void. “That’s not COVID-19 friendly . . . I passed the pen around and I don’t want that happening right now. I want to edit that and present it to our committee,” Romero said.
The appointment process to become a student senator is managed by the senate’s Internal Affairs Committee which will begin its work soon, now that elections are over. At that time interested students can apply for the vacant positions.
According to the Student Government bylaws, the updated application process will have to be presented to the Internal Affairs Committee which currently has no members due to the Speaker of the Senate having yet to be decided upon. The position will likely decided upon during the first senate meeting today, Tuesday, Oct. 20.
The elected Speaker of the Senate will then decide who goes into which Senate committee and the Internal Affairs Committee will gain members. Student Body President Luis Romero hopes to have the updated Senate application process completed by Oct. 27.