By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
Students will decide later this month whether a sophomore can be their vice president.
An amendment to the Students’ Association Constitution passed Wednesday would lower the requirement for executive vice president to no less than 60 credit hours completed. The amendment will be ratified if approved by two-thirds of those who vote in executive officer elections March 31 and April 1.
“The amendment marks a new era for Congress,” said Rep. Elizabeth Alvarez, Administration Building, who co-authored and presented the amendment. “When you couple this with better voter turnout, you can see that Congress is starting to care about the students, rather than itself.”
Co-author Taylor Hemness, Don H. Morris Center representative, said the amendment would open up the candidate pool and could help SA achieve its goal of 40 percent voter turnout.
“It opens up the pool so much more,” Hemness said. “So many more people who want to run can run.”
The amendment was passed 31-2, with one abstention. Eleven members were absent or did not vote.
The amendment now passes to the students, who will ratify it if two-thirds of voters cast ballots in favor of the bill.
Last year, Congress and the students passed an amendment with the same intent-to open the candidate pool, this time for class officers-by removing the president and vice president positions and creating five equal senator positions.
A bill to lower vice presidential requirements so juniors can hold the office has been debated for at least six years, Alvarez said.
“It’s not something Congress hasn’t thought about,” she said. “It’s something Congress really thought it needed to do.”
The amendment, if ratified, would create a situation where the vice presidentcould be ineligible to replace the president in an emergency. A student must have completed junior-level hours to hold the presidency, according to the Constitution.Alvarez said she would work to fix the contradiction next semester.
Hemness said he also expected Congress to resolve the issue.
Congress needed a “Yes” vote from two-thirds of its filled seats. The amendment received exactly that number. Voting no were: Rep. Traci Binion, Chambers Hall, and Rep. Rick Crain, Foster Science Building.
Abstaining was: Rep. Missy Mae Walters, University Park apartments.
* Four senior senators-Rance Bland, Dave Ruiz, Scott Sharp and Mim Smith;
* Sens. Robert Kinze, junior class, and Brandon Lemley, freshman class;
* Reps. Amber Swain, College of Business Administration, Dan Steepleton, Gibson P.E. Center, Manny Miller, Gardner Hall, Nicole Gutierrez, Nelson Hall, and Chris Munn, Smith Hall.
Smith, Miller and Munn all have been counted absent for an impeachable number of SA meetings.