Emory’s Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) announced the launch of a visual arts integrated co-major in light of the September 2012 department changes enacted by College Dean Robin Forman, which officially closes Emory’s Visual Arts Department at the end of this semester.
The executive committee of the CCA, a resource designed to advance arts programming at Emory by supporting teaching and research for students and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, developed the new Integrated Visual Arts Co-Major (IVAC).
The new program will allow students who have already declared a primary major to apply for the co-major starting in the fall of 2014, according to CCA Director Leslie Taylor.
Students enrolled in the program will have to complete nine courses in total.
Two of these courses will be in the Art History department, one in an upper level course in their other declared major, five IVAC-approved courses offered in the Film and Media Studies and Theater and Dance departments and a final senior seminar that is required for all students.
Members of the Executive Committee of the CCA began developing the program after the College of Arts and Sciences announced the suspension various academic departments, including the Department of Visual Arts, in September 2012, Taylor said.
Many of the classes that previously existed under the Visual Arts department will still not be offered as a result of faculty dismissals from the department cuts. Some faculty members will be teaching their courses in other departments starting in the fall, like Film and Media Studies and Art History.
Before this announcement, there had never been a stand-alone Visual Arts major. It had previously been a co-major with Art History as well as a minor. Taylor said that in the time between the announcement of the department changes and now, there could have been prospective students who chose not to attend Emory because of the absence of the department.
College sophomore Emily Pardue, who will transfer to the University of Georgia in the fall, said the department changes was a contributing factor in her decision to leave Emory because, after deciding she wanted to pursue visual arts as a career, she found that Emory was eliminating the classes she needed.
“To me, it doesn’t really seem like a visual arts major, it seems like a film and theater and art history major,” Pardue said. “You just don’t have the same range of classes that you did before.”
Like Pardue, College junior Nandita Vanka does not believe the new program is an adequate replacement for the old department, but it may appeal to students who are interested in the visual arts but may not continue studying it long-term.
“My one art class in the visual arts department as a freshman was one of the most formative college experiences I’ve had at Emory,” said Vanka.
She added that the fact that a visual arts component remains at all is a step in the right direction, although not for students interested in pursuing the visual arts as a career.
Indeed, Taylor said a focus of these conversations was to examine how the study of visual arts looks different in today’s day and age.
Taylor stated that conversations about this program’s development have been in the works for the past year and a half.
“It was a real joint effort,” she said.
A CCA press release obtained from Communications Coordinator Nicholas Surbey stated that classes in the new major will include art history, painting, sculpting, photography, filmmaking and digital media.
Examples of IVAC-approved courses include ones in costume and set design, documentary filmmaking and choreography among others, according to the CCA website.
The website contains a complete list of IVAC approved courses as well as detailed requirements for the major.
When students apply for the program, which the website says would ideally be during their sophomore year, they must include a portfolio of images in the medium of the artist’s choosing, an essay of intent, a letter of recommendation and a transcript.
Taylor noted that different students will have different course material based on their primary area of interest. For example, Taylor said, students interested in areas ranging from film to biology could integrate their studies to the new program.
“I hope it encourages students to think interdisciplinarily,” Taylor said.
The CCA will hold an information session for students interested in learning about the new co-major on April 29 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.
“I hope that we have a good cohort of students interested,” Taylor said.
Information about the major has also been disseminated to the admissions office, and an additional arts tour will be a new component for visiting students in addition to a general campus tour.
— By Rupsha Basu
The 48th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) convened for the second time ever to provide updates about legislative activities, however the Legislature was not able to confirm new members to the executive board because there were not enough legislators present.
Recently elected SGA President and College sophomore Jon Darby attributed the lack of legislators present to the fact that some positions, like graduate school and freshmen representatives, have not been elected yet. SGA Vice President and College sophomore Raj Tilwa added that this time of year is busy for everyone.
Darby informed the Legislature that SGA will be contributing to Denim Day, a philanthropy event hosted by the Respect Program to raise sexual assault awareness.
Darby said that for every person photographed wearing denim this Wednesday, April 23 on the Dobbs University Center (DUC) Terraces, the SGA executive branch will donate $1 to the Respect Program.
Darby also said a data entry specialist, which was created following the discovery of an accounting error in December has been hired. His name is Scott Wile, and he has worked with Emory before.
“I think he will be a fantastic addition [to the SGA business office],” Darby said.
The Legislature also discussed potential new meeting locations.
According to Darby, the University is losing money to maintain the current meeting space in the DUC faculty dining room and will be re-purposed over the summer.
Some suggestions for new meeting locations included Eagles’ Landing, the Few Multipurpose Room, the B. Jones room of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Cox Hall Ballroom, room 525 of Goizueta Business School and Winship Ballroom.
Darby said he is in favor of Eagles’ Landing because the space was originally intended for student organizations to meet.
Next week, the Legislature will vote to confirm College junior Chris Weeden, who served as SGA Attorney General this past year, to the same position and College junior Patrick O’Leary as SGA Vice President for Finance.
They will also vote to confirm College sophomore Adam Goldstein as SGA Chief of Staff.
Later this week, the SGA Executive Branch will also be conducting interviews for committee chair positions, selected from the Legislature.
—By Rupsha Basu
Eight Emory students who submitted applications for the national Fulbright scholarship discovered they were recipients of the award over the last few weeks. The grant will allow the awardees to travel internationally to teach English or conduct research for one year.
The Emory awardees were Michal Schatz (‘13C), Kari Leibowitz (‘12C), College seniors Alizeh Ahmad, Celeste Banks, Bryan Cronan, Christopher Linnan, Ben Sollenberger and Abigail Weisberger.
College seniors received English Teaching Assistantships (ETA), where Banks will be in Taiwan, Ahmad and Cronan will both be in Malaysia, Linnan will be in Indonesia, Sollenberger in Turkey and Weisberger in Germany. Schatz and Leibowitz were awarded research grants in France and Norway, respectively.
The students who received ETA grants will teach children English for 15 to 20 hours per week, but much of the allure is being able to experience a foreign country.
“I’m interested in really going to explore what I’ve studied so much in my history and [political science] classes,” Sollenberger said.
Cronan, who wants to become a foreign journalist correspondent, said he is looking forward to seeing how a journalist would interact with the community they are embedded in. He added that Malaysia is under-covered by journalists, as evidenced by the recent missing Malaysian plane.
Ahmad, on the other hand, said she was interested in Malaysia because she has family ties to the country. Her uncle emigrated from Pakistan to Malaysia, and his experiences have taught her the parallels between her own Pakistani heritage and Malaysian culture. Specifically, as an International Studies and Religion major, Ahmad said she is excited to learn about the diverse Muslim communities in Malaysia.
Others said they will be learning their host country’s language for the first time.
Linnan, who briefly lived in Indonesia when he was younger, said he will be attending language school prior to arriving in Indonesia in August.
Leibowitz is embarking on a year-long research project in Tromso, Norway, with the scholarship. She said a big challenge will be conducting research in a place where she is completely unfamiliar with the language.
Unlike the ETA grant, whose recipients applied to a specific country and will be placed in a city by the Fulbright program, research grant recipients are required to know exactly where and what they want to research.
Leibowitz will be researching positive mental health in Tromso and its correlation with levels of seasonal depression in the region. She said a part of the application required her to find a professor at a university in Norway to write a recommendation.
Schatz, who will be researching in France, could not be contacted by press time.
But even those familiar with their host country’s language said they are nervous to be communicating with children.
“My Turkish is elementary at best,” Sollenberger said.
Weisberger, who has been studying German throughout her time at Emory, said she anticipates it will be challenging speaking with kids in German because “it’s hard to interact with kids in general.”
There are two parts to the Fulbright application process – one is conducted internally through Emory’s National Scholarships & Fellowships Program and the other is nationally competitive.
Recent graduates, Master’s and doctoral degree candidates and young professionals from all over the country are eligible to apply, according to the Fulbright website.
The internal application is due in August and includes a personal statement as well as a statement of grant purpose that addresses a student’s motivations for applying to their country of choice. The national Fulbright application is due in October.
“It’s a long process, but there’s a lot of help here,” Linnan said.
After the initial application submission, the program’s counselors review it and suggest improvements to it. There is also a panel of teachers that asks each applicant a series of questions.
“You have really good access to the counselors in the office,” Weisberger said. “They really helped me tighten [the essays] up.”
Leibowitz said she has previously applied for the Fulbright, the national Marshall scholarship to obtain a degree in the UK and Emory’s Bobby Jones scholarship to study at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, all of which she did not receive at first.
“People think these things are really unattainable, but you have to keep trying,” Leibowitz said.
—By Rupsha Basu
Correction: This article was updated at 3:42 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 to reflect a change in the seventh paragraph. The paragraph originally read that Ahmad’s uncle emigrated from Malaysia to Pakistan. It now correctly reads that he emigrated from Pakistan to Malaysia.
The Constitutional Council reviewed the manner in which the Elections Board presented the Student Government Association (SGA) Constitution amendments to the student body. The council will release the results of the hearing following its deliberations.
The eight amendments, which were passed earlier this month during the University-wide elections, made minor wording changes to the Constitution, detailed SGA’s powers to remove divisional council and club officers and changed the constitutional amendment process. All amendments passed by an all-student referendum during elections.
The amendments raised controversy during elections, when both SGA presidential candidates and other members of the Emory community urged students to vote no to the changes. Most critics argued SGA rushed the amendment process and didn’t publicize the referendum appropriately.
College junior and newly-elected SGA College-wide Representative Aaron Tucek filed a complaint last week against the Elections Board that challenged the results of the referendum on behalf of Emory College students.
Tucek’s complaint asserted that the Elections Board failed to appropriately publicize the referendum, send notifications to the student body and provide students with the text of the proposed amendments prior to elections.
The Constitutional Council — which is made up of students in the College, the Goizueta Business School and the School of Law — decided to convene because of Tucek’s complaint. The hearing consisted of opening statements and closing statements by Elections Board, SGA and Tucek and questions by the Council.
“We want to make sure that, while we follow decorum, we’re also addressing the pertinent questions,” James Crowe, College junior and chief justice of the Constitutional Council, said.
Tucek presented his arguments in his opening statements during the hearing.
“I ask the Constitutional Council to invalidate this referendum,” Tucek said.
SGA Attorney General and College junior Chris Weeden, who spoke on behalf of SGA, said this debate about the Elections Board’s adherence to the elections code falls under the jurisdiction of the SGA Legislature because the Elections Board is a body under SGA. He added that the Constitution gives the Legislature the power to oversee elections and this question ought to be put up to a legislative vote, rather than a council hearing.
Crowe said the central questions of the case were whether or not the Elections Board failed its duties, and if it did, whether that justified overturning the referendum.
Tucek presented evidence which he said he believed proved that the Elections Board failed to meet their obligations in accordance with the elections code. According to him, only one of the four emails the Elections Board sent to the student body gave students access to the full text of the amendments. This email was sent to students approximately 20 minutes prior to the election period, which Tucek said was insufficient publicity of the amendments, which have a large impact on the government’s organization.
“An amendment fundamentally changes the structure of student government,” he said.
He also cited a portion of the elections code that stipulates that the Elections Board must send an email to the student body at least 48 hours before the election that includes the full text of the amendments. Tucek argued that the email, which provided a link to the full text, was insufficient and should have been sent 48 hours before the election and included the amendment text itself.
College senior and Elections Board Chair Matthew Pesce responded to Tucek’s arguments on behalf of the Elections Board.
Pesce said the full text of the amendments were available to students via multiple means, including the legislative agenda on SGA’s website, the SGA listserv, the SGA Facebook page, the link in the aforementioned email and an article published in the Wheel.
“To the best of my knowledge, that meets every obligation placed on us except the specification that we send out an email 48 hours prior to the election,” Pesce said.
While he acknowledged that the email was not sent 48 hours prior to the election, Pesce said he did not believe providing the full text of the amendments would have significantly impacted the vote. According to him, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the amendments, with a more than 1,000 vote margin.
“I wonder if all 5,000 people who voted, if they got a massive text of the amendments, whether they would have actually read them,” Pesce said. “I suspect no.”
He added that if the Constitution Council valued the democratic process, then overturning amendments of which the student body was so overwhelmingly in favor would be “horribly strange.”
Tucek argued that the Elections Board could have also publicized the amendments through other means, including sending more detailed emails, hosting a town hall and disseminating arguments for and against the amendments.
Pesce responded that technology does not allow for the full text to be published in an email because it is “exceedingly difficult” to get University-wide emails approved. He added that a full text on the ballot would also be impossible because the balloting software has a word limit.
In regards to the town hall and other publicizing methods, Pesce said he did not believe students would attend such events and that the Elections Board had actually exceeded the minimum requirements so long as the Constitutional Council read the elections code “pretty liberally.”
College sophomore Reuben Lack, former College Council budget chair and former candidate for SGA vice president who attended the meeting as an observer, said he did not believe the council should reject the referendum because the student body was still in favor of it despite the controversy surrounding it.
Tucek said there is a difference between the SGA and the Wheel publicizing the referendum and the Elections Board itself doing so. He stressed the importance of the right of the students to see the full text of the amendments before the election and the democratic process.
“The Emory student body trusts the Elections Board to provide them with information about the elections,” Tucek said. He added that allowing the referendum to pass in light of clear violations to the elections code would undermine the validity of the code itself.
Pesce, however, insisted that his arguments — the will of the student body and the low chances that the vote would have changed — outweighed a potential violation of the elections code.
“The elections code, even the revised version, contains a zillion peculiar things that even I scratch my head about,” Pesce said.
Both Tucek and Pesce had comments in regards to the legitimacy of the amendments themselves.
“I don’t know whether these amendments are good or bad,” Pesce said. “I haven’t read through them, I’m gonna be honest.”
Tucek, however, said he believed the questions on the ballot were poorly phrased.
“There are differences between [Elections Board members] summarizing [the amendments] and what the actual amendments are,” Tucek said. “The student body has a right to read that for themselves.”
In his closing statements, Tucek reiterated his earlier points and added that the question of whether or not the results of the referendum would change are immaterial to the question of a legitimate democratic process.
“People might not change their vote, but they are entitled to the opportunity to do so,” he said.
Pesce’s closing statements also recapped his earlier statements, stating that the full text of the amendments were available if students wanted to see them. He urged the council to evaluate the overwhelming vote in favor of the amendments over the violation to the elections code.
Crowe concluded the hearing, stating that the Constitutional Council would take the statements and evidence put forth at the meeting into consideration during its deliberations. He said a verdict would be delivered when the deliberations were complete, which he said could take up to a few days.
— By Rupsha Basu
Emory Libraries and Information Technology will be replacing Reserves Direct, its current online course material reserve system, with a different cataloguing system, effective May 2014.
Reserves Direct is an internal database developed by Emory Libraries that houses electronic course material that teachers upload for students to use.
The new system, which is called Ares, is a commercially available platform developed by Atlas Systems.
Reserves Direct currently houses course material since 2001 when Emory Libraries first developed the database, according to Head of Access Services for the Robert W. Woodruff Library Amy Boucher.
The database was developed internally because a commercial system was not available at the time, Boucher said. She added that Emory Libraries decided to switch to a commercially available system because it was a more sustainable option. The new system, which she referred to as “Course Reserves,” does not require “in-house development work” because it has a vendor that conducts ongoing product development.
When the new system goes live on May 14, it will automatically migrate course materials from fall 2011 up to fall 2014 that have already been uploaded.
If professors want to retain materials prior to fall 2011, they must specifically request this from Emory Libraries, Boucher said.
The new Course Reserves database is able to perform all of the functions of Reserves Direct. These features include immediate access to uploaded materials, the ability to archive past materials, the ability to group materials by date and subject and automated email notifications for newly added materials, among others.
“It’s quite similar to what we have now,” Boucher said.
There are two main differences between Course Reserves and Reserves Direct, according to Boucher. The new system is able to integrate into Blackboard, which is an online course management software. This means students and faculty can now access the database through a link on Blackboard as well as through the external URL.
The second difference is that through Course Reserves, instructors will be able to directly request books and articles through discoverE, which is Emory Libraries’ shared catalog for physical and electronic resources. Reserves Direct does not connect to discoverE, so instructors currently must request those materials by contacting library staff.
Other universities that use Ares to streamline their library reserves include the University of Chicago, the University of Florida and Ryerson University in Toronto, according to the Atlas Systems website.
After May 14, the page’s URL will redirect users to the new tool.
“We’ll be prepared to help library patrons in any way they need with the new system when it rolls out in the summer, and in the fall when students come back,” Boucher said.
— By Rupsha Basu
Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda delivered the third annual David J. Bederman Lecture to members of the Emory community in the Tull Auditorium at the School of Law.
The lecture, entitled “Fostering the Promise of the Rome Statute: A Prosecutor’s Perspective,” was presented by the School of Law’s center for International and Comparative Law. Bensouda spoke to a group of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty about the court’s ongoing investigations of crimes under its jurisdiction as well as its role in the international arena. She also engaged in a question and answer session after the speech.
The ICC is an international tribunal seated in The Hague, Netherlands that oversees 122 countries and prosecutes individuals for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of aggression.
Bensouda is a Gambian lawyer and international criminal law prosecutor. She began her position as chief prosecutor in June 2012, previously serving as the deputy prosecutor since 2004.
According to Bensouda, as chief prosecutor of the ICC, her job is to trigger investigations of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the court, such as genocide.
Bensouda’s speech outlined the jurisdiction and limitations of the Rome Statute, which is the treaty that established the court as well as its functions and structure in 1998, after it became a global priority to hold individuals accountable for heinous crimes.
“This is the promise that more than 120 states made to humankind,” Bensouda said.
She added that the criminal justice system established by the Rome Statute has provisions for the victims of crimes. This includes specifying the definitions of crimes such as sexual violence and a trust fund for reparations to victims.
Throughout her speech, Bensouda emphasized the limitations of the ICC’s jurisdiction.
She added that the ICC operates under a system of “complementarity,” which means that it can only intervene in situations when a state is unable or unwilling to act.
Currently, the ICC is investigating eight situations in Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. There are 21 cases in front of ICC judges, five of which are in trial while the others are in appeal, Bensouda said.
During the question and answer session, an audience member asked Bensouda to respond to criticism that the ICC focuses too heavily on the African continent.
Bensouda explained that of the eight ongoing investigations in Africa, five of them were at the request of the countries, and two were referrals from the United Nations Security Council. She added that the ICC has not intervened in the atrocities being committed by the Syrian government because it does not have the jurisdiction to do so, because Syria has not abdicated control of the situation.
Bensouda also discussed some of the problems the court has been facing in convicting individuals. One of these issues is witness interference and evidence tampering. She said this phenomenon has increased as a method of compromising the integrity of cases.
Another issue is the fact that the ICC does not have police officers or enforcement mechanisms.
“Cooperation is the key to effectiveness and success,” she said. She added that a large part of the maintenance of the institution is “strong, consistent and timely cooperation” on the part of its constituent parties.
Indeed, Bensouda acknowledged that the lack of an enforcing body has interfered with some of the courts proceedings. She cited Omar Al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, who has had two pending arrest warrants for years and remains in power. She said that the ICC currently has an additional 13 pending arrest warrants out for suspected criminals.
However, Bensouda noted that these problems do not mean the ICC is ineffective.
“I don’t think it is sufficient to measure the success of the ICC in convictions,” she said.
Following an ICC case that convicted Thomas Lubanga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the conscription of children, the ICC held the first conference on the issue of child soldiers, according to Bensouda.
An audience member noted that the court is balanced in terms of gender and asked whether female judges have an obligation to promote women’s rights globally.
Bensouda responded that the Rome Statute has provisions for gender crimes, specifically ones against women and children, and that she believes the law can be used to promote gender equality.
“The fact that she is such an important world leader, and a woman, was inspiration for me personally,” College sophomore Jessica Margolis said.
The David J. Bederman Lecture was established in honor of Gyr Professor of Private International Law David J. Bederman, who died in December of 2011, and his contribution to teaching, academics and advocacy, according to the School of Law’s website.
Students attending the event not only said it was an informative experience but also expressed that it was a unique opportunity to learn directly from an individual in the center of the action.
“I thought it was an amazing experience to hear the international political dynamics of the ICC explained by [Bensouda] herself,” Margolis said. “It was fascinating to hear from someone who has such extensive experience with international law and human rights.”
Others said Bensouda was inspirational.
“[Bensouda] was definitely the most interesting guest speaker that I’ve been to at Emory, especially because she’s the first African woman to serve on an international tribunal,” College sophomore Deepa Mahadevan said. “She was really inspirational, and I really got a lot out of hearing about her perspective of being chief prosecutor for the ICC.”
—By Rupsha Basu
The Elections Board announced the winners of the student government run-off elections on Thursday shortly after midnight.
Goizueta Business School junior and current Student Programming Council (SPC) Treasurer Michael Nathin was elected SPC President, Oxford freshman Noah Cole was elected Oxford Student Government Association (SGA) President, Goizueta Business School sophomore Paul Kagan was elected BBA Council Junior Representative and College freshman Raven Whitmore was elected Residence Hall Association (RHA) Vice President of Advocacy.
Nathin won by a margin of 457 votes against College junior Niyeti Shah, with a total vote count of 1,605.
“Being elected SPC President has been a dream of mine since joining the organization three years ago, and it is such an incredible feeling to have realized this feat,” Nathin wrote in an email to the Wheel. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to begin initiatives to continue the SPC legacy of programming excellence.”
He added that he is grateful for the help he has received from classmates over the last few weeks.
Originally, the SPC President race had three candidates, including Nathin, Shah and B-School junior Nick Bertha. SPC is a University-wide organization, so the entire student body was eligible to vote.
Former SPC President and B-School senior Raghvi Anand wrote in an email to the Wheel that every candidate who ran for the position was “extremely qualified.”
Cole won by a margin of 26 votes against Oxford freshman Justin Ian Sia, with a total vote count of 408.
Kagan won against B-School sophomore Huyen Nguyen by a close margin of seven votes, with a total vote count of 93.
Whitmore won by a margin of 84 votes against College freshman Abe Adam, with a total vote count of 764.
Run-off elections were held from midnight on Monday, April 7 to 11:59 p.m. on April 9. A University-wide email was sent by the Elections Board on Sunday evening detailing the election period and included a link to the ballot.
The run-off elections yielded a decrease in voter turnout of more than 1,000 votes compared to the regular election period.
“Relative to past runoffs the number that voted in this one is actually much higher than it usually is, which is probably an effect of the SPC race attracting more people to vote than would for smaller positions if the runoff did not include a high-level position,” College senior and Elections Board Chair Matthew Pesce wrote in an email to the Wheel.
In light of problems with the electronic ballot during the regular election, which resulted in some students receiving ballots that corresponded with their class standing by credit hours instead of their graduation year, the email addressed these issues by advising “students presented with an unexpected ballot” to email the Elections Board to override their class standing on the electronic ballot.
The email also stated that students’ class standing data is taken from the official Registrar and/or Housing data.
—By Rupsha Basu
Darby, Tilwa, Chan, Weinstein Win SGA, CC Executive Positions
Members of the Elections Board announced the results of student government elections and the referendum on Student Government Association (SGA) constitutional amendments around 12 a.m. on Thursday. More than 2,700 students voted online over a three-day voting period for their representatives for the 2014-2015 school year.
The Elections Board provided the following election results to The Emory Wheel. A full list of winners is available on the Wheel’s website.
College sophomore and SGA Vice President for Communications Jon Darby bested College sophomore and SGA Speaker of the House Kim Varadi for SGA President. Darby won by a margin of 974 votes.
“I look forward to forging a stronger relationship between all Emory students and the Student Government Association, defined by accessibility, efficiency and representation,” Darby wrote in an email to the Wheel. “I am grateful for Emory’s abundance of servant-leaders, people who are consistently willing to go above and beyond for the sake of a better university. I aspire to become the leader you have elected me to be, and I know we will change Emory together.”
Darby added that he is thankful for all the people who campaigned for him and encouraged people to vote.
College sophomore and SGA Representative-at-Large Raj Tilwa will serve as the next SGA Vice President, receiving 1,815 votes, against College junior Andrew Chang College sophomore, receiving 712 votes and College Council (CC) Budget Chair Reuben Lack, who received 492 votes.
“I just feel humbled,” Tilwa said. “Knowing that there were a majority of voters who consider me to be a good SGA VP makes me feel empowered, and at the same time, I feel that I have to try my best for those people who believe in me.”
He added that he is excited to enact the policies he mentioned during his campaign and to work with Darby, saying they “share a very similar vision for Emory.”
In one of the closest presidential races this election season, College junior and CC Vice President Adam Chan was elected CC President with 881 votes against College junior and current CC Treasurer Omair Kazi, who received 823 votes.
Chan did not respond for comment by press time.
College sophomore and current CC Sophomore Legislator Alyssa Weinstein, who ran unopposed for CC Vice President, received 1,452 votes.
“I’m so excited to be CC VP,” Weinstein wrote in a statement to the Wheel. “Even though I was running uncontested, the whole election process was really exciting, and I can’t wait to work with the 59th College Council!”
The elections for Student Progamming Council (SPC) President resulted in a run-off between College junior Niyeti Shah and Goizueta Business School junior Michael Nathin, because none of the candidates received a majority of votes.
Shah said she was honored.
“The past ten days have been an incredible experience, and I am excited to continue my campaign over the next few days,” she said. “I am confident in the merits of my platform and believe that, if given the opportunity, I would see my platform to fruition.”
Nathin also expressed thanks.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to be in a runoff for SPC President,” Nathin wrote in a statement to the Wheel. “Regardless of the outcome, I am confident that SPC will thrive in the future, but I hope everyone can recognize the dedication, passion and pragmatic approach I have continuously shown over my three years within the organization.”
B-school junior Caroline Capponi won SPC Vice President with 1,774 votes against Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing junior Michelle Feldman, who received 1,280 votes.
“I am elated and grateful for the opportunity to serve Emory as Student Programming Council Vice President,” Capponi said. “I am incredibly thankful for the support I received from my friends during the elections period and am so excited to continue the legacy of programming excellence.”
In addition, all eight of the amendments to the SGA constitution passed.
Run-off elections will be held from Monday April 7 at midnight to Wednesday April 9 at 11:59 p.m., according to College sophomore and Elections Board RHA Commissioner Bryce Robertson, who is also a Wheel sales associate.
—By Rupsha Basu
The 47th Legislature of the Student Government Association (SGA) voted unanimously to fund new weight-lifting equipment for the Woodruff Physical Education Center (WoodPEC) and to approve revisions to the Media Council Constitution.
College sophomore and SGA Sophomore Representative Michael Lor presented the bill to the Legislature. He said he asked students and members of the WoodPEC staff what equipment they wanted in the WoodPEC.
According to him, students wanted more dumbbells. The bill asks that SGA fund 26 sets of dumbbells of various weights ranging from five pounds to 60 pounds.
Additionally, the bill funds a Magnum multi-adjustable bench and the freight, delivery and installation costs.
In total, the bill asked for $8,776 from SGA’s Fee Interest Account (FIC), which is designated for long-term projects lasting three or more years. The Legislature voted unanimously to fund this amount.
SGA also voted unanimously to revise Media Council’s Constitution. Media Council is a University-wide organization (UWO) that oversees student-produced media like Emory Television (ETV) and Emory’s student-run radio station WMRE.
According to full-time MBA student and SGA Governance Committee Chair David Kaplan, the changes to the Constitution update its language to reflect current practices. For example, SGA updated its chartering bylaws last semester, which the new Media Council constitution now reflects.
He added that Media Council is working on a monetary code separate from the Constitution in order to comply with the new budgeting procedures for University-wide organizations (UWO), which no longer gives UWOs a fixed percentage of the student activities fee — the $89 student activities fee paid each semester by every student — and instead requires UWOs to submit an itemized budget every spring for the following fiscal year. This is known as the fee-split bill.
The Legislature approved the revisions unanimously.
Additionally, College senior and SGA Finance Committee Chair Calvin Lee updated the Legislature on the repairs to McDonough Field, which SGA funded last semester also using the FIC.
The repairs, which started in January, are now complete, he said.
The SGA contingency account has $2,678 remaining in it. This amount will roll over to the 48th Legislature’s contingency account if the 47th Legislature does not reconvene again this year.
— By Rupsha Basu
Despite this year’s new interface meant to fix past election ballot issues, students still experienced problems while voting in student government elections this week.
The Elections Board, a subsidiary of Student Government Association (SGA), sent out a University-wide email on Monday afternoon suggesting tips to students who have been having problems completing the election ballot, including slow loading, error messages and ballots that fail to correspond to correct graduation years. The election ballot was sent to all students at midnight on Sunday, and elections will end on April 2 at 11:59 p.m.
Goizueta Business School students received ballots that mistakenly corresponded to their class standing — determined by the number of credit hours taken — instead of their graduation year, according to B-School sophomore and Elections Board RHA Commissioner Bryce Robertson, who is also a sales associate of the Wheel.
This means that students in the class of 2016 in the B-school who qualify for junior standing with their credit hours received the names of class representatives from the class above them. They were asked to vote for representatives not in their graduating class.
Robertson said this year, he coordinated with all the representatives from the divisional councils to ensure that the ballots were set to graduation year instead of class standing. However, he added that the BBA council ballots were mistakenly set to class standing. Still, it is unclear why there are some incorrect ballots for College students, but not others.
While many students outside of the B-school did not have this problem, some students like College junior Lex Gardner reported that they also had incorrect ballots.
“I thought it was disappointing that, with all the issues with elections last year and the creation of the new elections board, there were still issues,” Gardner said. “I am encouraged, however, that the website seems to be working more effectively after the first night. Good thing they extended the voting period to be over a few days [unlike last year].”
In past elections, this problem has existed for the entire student body. These problems persist despite a new interface for electronic ballots that was meant to address the issue. In October, SGA voted to fund the new interface.
According to Robertson, the new system allows Elections Board representatives from each divisional council — which includes the BBA Council and the Graduation Student Government Association (GSGA) — to input the correct ballots for each graduating class in their school.
The ballot each student receives depends on various parameters regarding each student. Depending on one’s academic school, class standing, level of professional or doctoral school, residence hall, netID and graduation year, each student receives an individualized ballot, Robertson said.
“The platform we use is quite good,” College senior and Elections Board Chair Matthew Pesce wrote in an email to the Wheel.
“We asked every division to create their offices on the ballot,” Robertson said. “Each division may not have been as diligent as they could have been.”
He added that there was also a miscommunication with the Oxford SGA. The sophomore representative position on the ballot allowed students to vote for up to eight people instead of the actual number of representatives, which is four.
Similar to the past, students can rectify their incorrect ballots by emailing the Elections Board, whose members can then manually override the system and re-send the student a correct version of their individualized ballot.
The email sent out on Monday afternoon states that students experiencing error messages should clear their browser cache, close the browser and re-enter the ballot address in a new browser window. The email also advises choosing a different browser.
According to Robertson, students have had issues with Google Chrome because the browser is unable to read certain scripts.
He advises that students use a different browser and Emory computers if possible.
According to the email, the ballot has been taking up to a minute and 30 seconds to load.
Robertson said this was due to server overload as a result of the unprecedented voter turnout for this year’s elections.
“We have had unparalleled voter turnout,” Robertson said.
According to him, by 10 a.m., more than 1,400 people had voted. By 5 p.m., that number increased to more than 2,000.
Robertson attributed this year’s turnout to a longer election period as well as a change in the time the email was sent out. Previously, voting has been from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
However, Robertson said that data shows that the best time for the University to ask a question via email is around 10 p.m., when students are most active on their emails.
More students across the divisions know about the elections this year, according to Robertson.
Robertson also said these problems are not likely to occur next year.
“As long as we have people invested enough in the divisions, I don’t anticipate [the problems] happening again next year,” Robertson said.
Robertson said ballot issues until the end of the election period can be rectified by contacting the Elections Boar at ElectionsBoard@emory.edu.
Assistant News Editor Stephen Fowler contributed reporting.
— By Rupsha Basu
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