By Laura Bird
Students running in the 2007 BYUSA elections can expect a new infractions policy that will track when and if there will be disqualification of candidates.
After each election, the process is evaluated and revised to eliminate problems for the next year. After last year”s confusing ending that eliminated one pair of candidates, revisions were made to clarify infractions.
“The main change is that a point system has been instituted into the elections process,” said Brandon Dabling, BYUSA vice president over the Student Advisory Council. “The point system provides a standardized way by which candidates will be judged for the actions of their campaign.”
The point system penalizes candidates and ranks infractions based on how many people were affected, the attention that was given to the infraction and who authorized the infraction. When candidates reach a certain amount of points they will be disqualified.
For example, if a candidate is found campaigning in the library, they will be penalized according to how many students were addressed and who approved the campaigning.
By making these changes, BYUSA is hoping to eliminate the possibility of disqualifications because the candidates will know exactly where they stand at all times.
Dabling explained that this new change is meant to distinguish the role of the infractions committee as separate from those that wrote the handbook. By making this change, the committee will have to do less interpreting.
“The infractions committee will mainly enforce and leave less room for questioning,” Dabling said.
Mark Bean, the infractions committee chairman, stressed that like every organization, BYUSA has issues that are identified and addressed. Things that have happened in the past should not discourage students from participating in elections this year.
If any student is interested in learning who sits on the infractions committee, the charter is posted online and is open to the public.
“Members of the infractions committee are chosen by the guidelines of the charter,” Bean said. “We don”t choose the representation. It is outlined in the charter as approved by the Board of Trustees.”
Nathan Ward, assistant director of Student Leadership, encouraged students to find ways to be involved and serve other students. Along with the president and executive vice president positions, applications for area vice presidents and executive directors are available.
“Elections begin the process for choosing the new leaders for the new year, but it isn”t the only process,” Ward said. “There are many positions within BYUSA that allow students to make a significant contribution.”
Applications available in 3400 WSC or at byusa.byu.edu. Students may contact BYUSA with any additional questions.