The Central Student Government assembly failed to pass a resolution on Tuesday that would potentially bar CSG campaigns from popular University study spaces.
The resolution — brought forth to the assembly on its third read — sought to amend the CSG governing documents to prohibit legislative or executive candidates running for office from actively campaigning in Campus Computing Sites or University Libraries.
“No candidate may campaign in any Campus Computing Site while polls on the election website are open,” the failed resolution stated. “The mere presence of a candidate in a Campus Computing Site does not constitute a violation of this rule.”
A subsequent subsection similarly made the rule applicable to University libraries.
LSA sophomore Nicholas Rinehart, author of the resolution, said through the amendments to the election code, he hoped to see less aggressive campaigning in study locations.
“It’s a harmful process for us because not everyone likes CSG,” Rinehart said. “I think we come off as terribly annoying and we don’t really have any incentive to make people want to vote for us.”
During the last election cycle, LSA seniors Chris Osborn and Hayley Sakwa, then the presidential and vice presidential candidates from the political party forUM, were disqualified from the presidency after Osborn was found to have actively influened students while voting in University facilities. The duo had won a plurality of the vote.
After the polls had closed, photographs of Osborn standing behind students in the Law Library and Angell Hall computing center were circulated in what appeared to be incidents of his influencing students while voting. Ambiguities surrounding whether Osborn’s presence constituted a violation of the compiled code were settled with hearings in front of the University Election Commission, the judicial body presiding over CSG elections. Representatives hoped the resolution would stop those activities.
Members present at the assembly also voiced their concerns over the potential impact of the resolution on the greater election process. Law student John Lin said he believed that banning campaign-related conversation in largely populated University facilities could be an impediment to the election outcomes.
About 10,000 students voted in the March presidential and vice presidential elections — 24 percent of the total University student population.
As a result, Lin moved the assembly to remove the clause that prohibited campaigning from University Libraries, but keep the clause that restricted campaigns on Computing Sites. The amendment passed by a majority in the assembly, only to be later overturned by another amendment that would only restrict campaigning in the facilities during the 48-hour election period.
Amid further debate surrounding whether other “gray-area” actions constituted campaigning, the legislation of election reform failed to pass.