Students will have the possibility this spring to vote on whether they are in favor of the Student Senate coalition system.
A bill was passed in full Senate on Wednesday which places a referendum on the spring 2019 election ballot that would allow students to vote whether to keep the coalition system.
The bill was drafted initially in 2017 due to students opposing the coalition system because they thought the “coalition system within elections stifles representation of marginalized students,” the 2019 bill said.
Student Body Vice President Charles Jetty created the new bill to put the referendum on the 2019 ballot.
“The debate is that the systematic domination of the election system is carried out through the coalition system,” Jetty said.
Jetty is unaware of anyone on campus who is directly opposed to the coalition system. Since the bill passed, Jetty said Student Senate will find out what the student body feels about coalitions in the spring.
He believes that the end-vote will largely be dependent upon strong campaigning from either side of the argument.
“There are always going to be people who rightly criticize Student Senate for some of its more exclusive practices,” Jetty said. “The question students must now answer is, ‘Will getting rid of the coalition system really address that?’”
In order for the results of the referendum to take effect, 10 percent of the student body must vote in the upcoming election, per Student Senate Rules and Regulations.
Former Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn introduced the bill in Senate two years ago, but it initially failed.
The legislation was reintroduced with changed language and subsequently passed. The referendum was originally supposed to appear on the 2018 ballot, but the Elections Commission failed to add it in the most recent election.
“To be frank with you,” said then-Elections Commission Chair Jeremy Latronica in a previous interview with the Kansan, “after the Elections Commission reviewed the document that had the referendum questions, the part stating that the EC would be to create the coalition question was overlooked.”