Austin Kelly, The Black Bear – In February 2016, a petition circulated campus to repeal the requirement for student body president when Daniel Altman was ineligible to seek office, The Standard reported at the time.
Altman’s vice presidential candidate was Evan Grosch, who was chief elections commissioner for the Student Government Association in October 2015.
The repeal of the election code failed during an SGA meeting on Feb. 9, 2016, which sent Altman and Grosch to the Campus Judicial Board.
The student body vice president at the time, Alissa Biermaier, told The Standard that this was the first time in years that the Campus Judicial Board had been called.
The board ruled to uphold the election code, and Altman was disqualified from running for president.
The previous qualifications, stated in Article 2 Section 1 Subsection A of the Elections Codes said that candidates who were running for Student Body President and Student Body Vice President had to participate in SGA the semester they wished to run for office.
But as of Tuesday, Oct. 17, candidacy for student body president is now open to all students at Missouri State University.
“The reason behind this change is that we feel that it is not our job to limit what the student’s choices are,” said Chief Election Commissioner Samantha Siebert.
Last year’s student body president Ashley Crisafulli said this is a positive change for SGA. It gave them the opportunity to reexamine their policies.
“I think (this issue) had us take a hard look at all three branches of government,” Crisafulli said in an article by The Standard. “I foresee a lot of looking into our constitution and our elections code. I think that this situation has shown that there are a lot of holes that really need clarifying.”
Before the current resolution passed, senators debated over it.
Senators who opposed the change said that the open candidacy would allow for inexperienced people to run and that students who are not part of SGA already wouldn’t understand the organization’s parliament procedure.
Senators who supported the new rule said the candidacy would be more diverse, allowing more choices for students. In addition, it would make students more interested in participating in student government.