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Thursday, January 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 82

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SA debates election calendar, calls for creation of a Freshman Council

By Jim Parsons
Daily Cougar Staff

The Students' Association Senate approved its 2000 election calendar Wednesday night after considerable debate over the amount of time potential candidates are allowed to file.

The calendar initially called for the candidate filing period to last from 8 a.m. Feb. 1 until 5 p.m. Feb. 5. But Natural Sciences and Mathematics Sen. Joel Rodriguez complained that did not provide ample time for students to file their candidacy, suggesting that the date be pushed back a week.


Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar 


Mechanical engineering professor Lewis Wheeler is passed the gavel at his first Faculty Senate meeting as President. One of Wheeler's goals will be to attract more graduate students to the University.

"My only concern is (that) I want more voters to come out and participate," Rodriguez said. "What always happens is, the incumbents always come back."

SA President Tom Cassidy said if a potential candidate hasn't started organizing a ticket by the filing dates, he or she is falling behind. "If you are putting together a ticket ... you are doing it by December, stereotypically," Cassidy said.

Kim Webb, who was elected election commissioner at the meeting, advised senators that the SA Election Code called for at least six filing days, and the calendar was passed with an amendment pushing the filing deadline back to 5 p.m. Feb. 8.

In spite of the debate and additional two days, Honors College Sen. Bill Kelly said he was disappointed in the fact that the question of a tight filing deadline wasn't fully addressed, saying publicity and accessibility issues may remain.

"I'm not happy about the way we treated it," Kelly said. "Why did we talk about it that long when we had nothing accomplished anyway?"

In other business, College of Business Sen. Richard Russell introduced a bill calling for the creation of a Freshman Council, to be made up of between five and 15 freshmen selected for their achievements, academic record and leadership qualities.

The chair of the council would attend SA meetings as a nonvoting member, and council members would help the SA's executive branch with volunteer projects.

The proposal was sent to a Senate committee for review.

At-Large Sen. Stacy Hilliard complained about the Spring 2000 class schedule, which she said is riddled with inaccuracies. She cited some classes that were listed in the schedule, but were not actually offered, and others that were listed with incorrect section numbers.

"I think that they need to come up with some new way of proofreading this," Hilliard said.

The Senate will next meet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Pacific Room, UC Underground.
 

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