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USG discusses campaign funding surrounding campus election processUSG discusses campaign funding surrounding campus election process

Undergraduate Student Government senators debated about the amount of money a person should be allowed to spend on a campaign while running for USG president and vice president at last night’s meeting.

During the general assembly meeting, members shared their views on the current spending limit as of now, which is $150 each, or $300 between a presidential and vice presidential ticket.

While some senators thought this amount was too low, others felt that the designated amount was fine as is.

A heated debate took place for over an hour, highlighting the positives and negatives of the $300 limit.

In order to change the current amount a person can spend on a campaign, USG would have to suspend bylaws within their constitution. But suspending the bylaws to raise the campaign spending limit did not sit well with every USG member.

“We need to set the tone and stick to what we decided at the beginning of the year,” At-Large Senator Leo Almeida said. “We should be an example and follow the bylaws we outlined for ourselves and not go back on them.”

One senator drew a comparison to the United States Congress concerning this issue.

“There is a reason why Congress determines salaries for its members during the previous administration,” Senator Lauren Biksacky said. “We promised to be transparent to our constituents and I believe this is an issue of credibility and time. Some people are putting their individual concerns above anything else and that’s not right.”

Off-Campus Senator Rob Emmelhainz believed that raising the campaign spending limit would be a good decision.

“If you look at other MAC schools their campaign spending limit is much higher,” Emmelhainz said. “I just think raising it would be more appropriate.”

Other senators felt debating the matter shouldn’t be the most important agenda for the evening.

“It would be great if we put this much time, effort and energy into other matters concerning the students that we were sworn in to serve, the students we represent,” At-Large Senator April Jackson said. “The period, colon and semi-colon shouldn’t matter, we should be focusing our attention on more important things than this.”

Some senators felt raising the campaign spending limit shouldn’t deter potential candidate’s from the main goal of USG.

“No matter how much you spend on a campaign it shouldn’t determine how well you represent the student voice,” Almeida said.

Other senators agreed that suspending the bylaws shouldn’t impede the job of USG senators.

“Bylaws shouldn’t prevent or get in the way of doing our job,” Emmelhainz said.

Senator Johnnie L. Lewis agreed.

“We should operate the best we can and not let bylaws intervene,” he said.

At the end of the debating a vote was taken and the $300 limit still stands. The motion to suspend the bylaws concerning the election guidelines failed.

In other business, USG is accepting student trustee applications until Thursday and extended this opportunity to three people present during the meeting.

A student trustee is appointed by the governor and attends two meetings a semester and serves for two academic years.

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