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USG’s special election has concluded — here’s what’s changing

Undergraduate Student Government senators at a Senate meeting on Thursday, Feb. 29. The four constitutional amendments put up for vote in USG’s special election have passed. COBY NUNBERG/THE STATESMAN

The results are in for the recent special election held by Stony Brook University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG).

All four constitutional amendments put up for vote have passed, with the amendment to reinstate the Judicial Board arguably the most notable. The other passed amendments will change the timeline for a candidate to run for USG elections, lower the required grade point average (GPA) to serve as a member of USG, and clarify certain financial responsibilities within the organization.

The Judicial Board was previously a part of USG before being dissolved in 2019 and acted as the organization’s de facto Supreme Court, hearing misconduct cases within clubs and USG itself and functioning as an impartial body overseeing USG elections. The reinstated board will comprise four Associate Justices and a Chief Justice, the latter of which will be elected by the undergraduate student body when USG general elections occur at the end of the spring 2024 semester.

The Associate Justices will be appointed by members within USG. The board will officially be reinstated at the start of the 2024-25 academic year.

As previously reported by The Statesman, the decision to put the reinstatement of the board up to vote came after weeks of deliberation by USG as the organization attempted to agree on whether it should exist and how the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices would be selected.

The election timeline amendment will increase and expand the amount of time candidates have to participate in elections, though the specifics of this amendment are not yet available.

The GPA amendment will lower the GPA required for holding a position on either the Senate or executive board of USG. Previously, a GPA of 2.75 was required to be on the Executive Council and a 2.5 was required to serve as a senator. The new requirements are a GPA of 2.5 for the executive council and 2.25 for the Senate.

In addition, candidates are now allowed to run regardless of GPA, allowing students to raise their GPAs if necessary to meet the requirements to hold office by the end of the semester.

Meanwhile, the financial responsibility amendment will largely clarify USG’s funding policies. According to a post on the organization’s Instagram page, “USG will determine a budget for a club informed by their demonstrated need, alongside overall funding capabilities and club’s success.”

The election had a notably low turnout. Of 17,549 eligible undergraduate students, 149 voted on the amendment regarding election timelines and 150 voted on the other three amendments. That means that less than 1% of the student body participated in the election.

The next election held by USG will be the general election held at the end of the spring 2024 semester to elect the members of the Senate and Executive Council. The exact dates have yet to be determined.

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About the Contributor
Sky Crabtree
Sky Crabtree, Assistant News Editor
Sky Crabtree is an Assistant News Editor for The Statesman and a sophomore studying journalism and political science. He joined the paper in the spring of 2023 as a news reporter and was promoted at the end of the same semester. Outside of The Statesman, he works as a news intern for WSHU Public Radio and hosts "The Political Corner," a segment on the Stony Brook Media Group's news show.
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