At last Wednesday’s College Council (CC) meeting, the Council decided not to pass a resolution that would prevent candidates from running on a split ticket for treasurer. After debate, the resolution was voted down by a slim margin of 10 in favor, 11 opposed and two abstentions.
The resolution was intended to address concerns about the continuity of the treasurer position, which requires a background in CC funding and experience on the Financial Committee (FinCom), and to ensure that candidates for the office will be able to keep CC’s financing consistent throughout the year.
“With regards to this position, the concern was that having two treasurers would result in discontinuity because of the change [in who holds the office] during the summer,” Adrian Castro ’14, CC co-president, said. “Since the treasurer is responsible for maintaining all of Council’s (and student organizations’) books, as well as following precedent … we thought it affected the Council by having two different people in a given year.”
Castro further explained that the structure of CC financing makes turnover in the position difficult from semester to semester. “The change would result in a new treasurer during the fall subgroup allocation process – which is a very laborious time for this position – and can result in different philosophies between the outgoing treasurer [and the entering treasurer] to working with a set budget from the previous fiscal year and the incoming treasurer with an entire budget to allocate for a completely different year,” Castro said.
However, while Council was receptive to some of these concerns, CC ultimately decided that banning split tickets for treasurer would reduce an already limited pool of candidates. As candidates for treasurer are required to have served on FinCom or petition Council to waive this requirement, the number of people who qualify to serve as treasurer is limited. Preventing such candidates from running on a split ticket could further reduce the number of eligible candidates, as it would make studying away prohibitive of holding office.
“One of the most resounding sentiments was that Council worried further limiting this position (and all positions in general) would result in lack of diversity in terms of applicants, due mainly to study abroad,” Castro said. “This was more of a motivating factor to [the majority of the Council] than the discontinuity that may arise from split term tickets for this and other positions.”
While the resolution to prevent split tickets for treasurer failed, CC remains dedicated to supporting treasurers during turnover and to making transitions between treasurers as smooth as possible. “While the resolution did not pass, we are still committed to ensuring that students who do run receive the best support possible to be successful in their jobs,” Castro said. “We want all students to want to become involved, and this resolution shows that this remains Council’s priority.”