Student Government extends petition deadline to meet candidate quota

The+student+government+office+in+Farinon.+%28Photo+by+Ben+Fuller+21%29

The student government office in Farinon. (Photo by Ben Fuller ’21)

Jane Collins

For the second year in a row, extensions had to be given to student government election candidates who hadn’t gotten the requisite number of 100 signatures by the given deadline of last Friday.

Vice president of student government Othman Guennoun ’17 said that the classes of 2017 and 2018 did not reach the quota of five candidates by the deadline. An extension was then granted to two students who had already submitted their application for candidacy, Cindy Matos ’18 and Ashley Rodriguez ’18, who are both abroad.

“We didn’t just give random people an extension,” Guennoun said. “It was just the signature part.”

“The two people that got the signature extension are actually studying abroad, and they didn’t even know if they could run,” Lafayette College Student Government President L’Eunice Faust ’17 said, “and that’s really the crux of the issue, and I’ve actually volunteered to collect the signatures for them.”

“I believe the same thing happened last year with my class, the class of 2017. So it’s not unusual,” Guennoun added.

Although there was a argument surrounding the deadline extension, Guennoun explained that there are always disagreements within student government. He said that the same conflict of opinion arose for the special election that occurred earlier in the year.

“[The argument was] about whether it’s fair if we extend it to the whole campus or just to people who applied and didn’t get their signatures in,” Guennoun said.

Faust declined to comment on any disagreement, saying that the matter should be kept within student government.

“Honestly the signatures and things like that are between myself and chair representatives,” she said.

Guennoun and Faust agreed that there are no rules written into the constitution or bylaws about extending deadlines.

“I feel like we should maybe have [a written rule] just so we can avoid any kind of conversation like this in the future,” Guennoun said.

Faust said that student government should be understanding when it comes to getting the signatures in by the deadline.

“My personal thing is, we’re all Lafayette students, and we’re all super involved, so if you need a signature deadline [extension] we can be lenient within reason,” Faust said. “We’re an organization and deadlines need to be respected and upheld, but we’re also a student organization and I’m supposed to be understanding of the needs of other students.”

Polls close for all student government elections Friday at 2 p.m.