Finding your way to the poll will not be an excuse this election, thanks to the Student Government Association.
Steve Vantrease, University Center director, reported at last night’s meeting that, after strong urgings from administrators and lawyers in Martin and Knoxville, UTM would not provide vans to transport student voters to the polls on Nov. 5.
However, private vans have been earmarked for Election Day, including one donated by an unnamed candidate.
Another event planned for Election Day is “Feed the Vote,” which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. between Austin Peay and McCord halls.
Food and music will be provided for students registered to vote in Weakley County.
Matt Maxey, Academic Affairs chairman, also reported that a planned debate between candidates for state representatives had been canceled because Republican candidate Tom “Redneck” Gardner declined the invitation.
Gardner is running against Democratic candidate Mark Maddox.
On another issue, Procedures Committee Chair Liz Craig presented a bill before the senate to incorporate representation for extended campuses in Selmer, Jackson, Paris, Camden, Dickson and Knoxville by selecting a faculty member to serve as a liaison for that campus.
“While this does not solve the problem, it lays the groundwork for future proceedings with the extended campuses,” Craig said.
Campus Observations Chair Brian Davis said that work was under way on game room renovations, and that repairing cracked pavement on the fitness trail is being looked into.
Davis also said that food service contract negotiations were approaching and that his committee recently met with Sodexho about improvements to current services.
In other business:
A technical problem prevented the minutes of the preceding meeting to be approved.
The senate allowed the meeting to continue without the minutes being approved after voting.
A bill extending fall break has recently been brought to the attention of the Academic Affairs committee.
Maxey said a similar bill passed last semester, approving an extension.
Elections Commissioner Joey Pierce said that nearly 1,000 students had voted in the homecoming elections, nearly double that of last year’s turnout.
He attributes this to the new computer voting system developed for the SGA for possible use in the spring Senate and Executive Council elections.
“Homecoming elections went very well,” Pierce said. “I am very proud of the student body.”
Vice President Nikki Draper reminded Senators that the SGA Constitution states, “Any Senator, executive officer, or member missing more than two meetings per semester will have his/her seat declared vacant.”
Draper said that some members are “not taking [the rule] as serious as they should.”
President Eric Tolbert said that the words “declare vacant” meant that the person had two absences and that action should be taken.