Editorial Board

Idea to separate presidential, vice presidential tickets in SA elections would be problematic

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In past elections, the president and vice president have jointly campaigned and appeared on the same ballot as a package deal.

UPDATED: March 21, 2017 at 4:35 a.m.

Student Association’s recent creation of a Bylaw Review Committee has the potential to clarify ambiguities within the student government’s written rules. But the committee’s approach to possible election changes — including an idea in which vice presidential candidates would run individually in future elections — must be made with caution.

In previous elections, the president and vice president have jointly campaigned and appeared on the same ballot as a package deal. Although more details about the idea will likely be discussed in due time, the SA assembly must keep the possible consequences of a ticket change in mind.

The current method makes sense, considering the president and vice president of SA seem to be equals who both shoulder responsibilities and handle initiatives. To take the vice president off the ticket and onto their own individual one would complicate the role of the vice president, whose goals for the organization should be firmly aligned with the president they would work with. The only way to ensure a president and vice president are on the same page in terms of their mission for the organization is to have them appear on the same ticket.

The idea cannot take effect without approval by the SA assembly. And the ticket change would not apply to the upcoming SA election, as applications for a president and vice president ticket for the 2017-18 academic year were closed to the student body on March 10.

The current SA leadership, President Eric Evangelista and Vice President Joyce LaLonde, were an effective ticket during their campaign in the spring 2016 semester because their backgrounds were complementary. Evangelista was a highly experienced member of SA, while LaLonde was an active member in the Syracuse University community.

Without LaLonde on the ticket, Evangelista’s campaign would not be as convincing. LaLonde’s background demonstrated a depth to the student experience that SA leaders should have. No one candidate can encompass the student experience and use that experience to represent the student body, but two people on a shared ticket can come pretty close. LaLonde was a key player in the campaign and has been a key player as SA vice president — and a key player so important should be voted on.

Presidential candidates should know who they want their vice president to be. The Bylaw Review Committee seems to be an effort to increase the transparency of SA’s written rules, but if SA is aiming to improve the election process, a proposal to split the president and vice president through individual tickets is concerning.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the proposed idea through which Student Association vice presidents may be elected in the future was misstated. The idea would mean candidates for SA vice president would run on an individual ticket rather than appearing on the joint ticket. The Daily Orange regrets this error and has since updated this post to accurately reflect The D.O. Editorial Board’s stance.


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