Electoral Commission sets up campaign rules

The electoral commissioner came before the senate on Monday to give a briefing on what everyone can expect during the upcoming spring 2006 elections.

Electoral Commissioner Shaun West provided senators with an extensive packet of spring elections information to look over during the meeting. The commission said that due to their planning every detail, there should not be any chaos or mishaps this year, as has been with previous elections.

“We have set up an elaborate plan to get students more excited and want to be more involved,” said West, 23, a public administration graduate student from Tallahassee. “We want to shed a positive light on the whole process, carrying on a rich tradition.”

The electoral commission said they strive to empower and educate Florida A & M University students by promoting voters’ rights and education.

The commission is set up to facilitate and monitor all elections on campus by ensuring the elections will be conducted fairly and that every student’s vote will be counted.

Almost everyone at the meeting seemed to be in positive spirits in regards to the upcoming elections and campaign week, which lasts from Feb. 15 and last until the preliminary elections Feb. 21 and the run-offs Feb. 23.

Twenty-year-old Sen. Elijah Bowdre, a business administration sophomore from Long Beach, Calif., said West and company are “doing an excellent job. His performance has exceeded all expectations.”

After looking at and hearing the proposal from the electoral commission, Senate President Keon Hardemon felt optimistic about the condition of the upcoming elections.

“I look forward to what electoral commissioner Shaun West has to bring to the spring elections,” said Senate President Keon Hardemon, a senior business administration student from Miami.

“I anticipate this being one of the fairest elections that FAMU has seen in a long time.”

SGA President Ramon Alexander, 21, shares Hardemon’s enthusiasm about the upcoming election.

“West has a proven track record as a man of integrity and honesty and will see to it that everything is run smoothly,” Alexander said

Towards the end of the meeting, a bill, which would grant health insurance to graduate students, written by Sen. Jarryd Jackson and Jason Harris, graduate class president, went up for discussion.

“Every other public Florida college and university receiving funds from the state has set a precedent of making affordable health care available for all its graduate students,” said Jackson, 23, a fifth-year pharmacy student from Bradenton.

But at FAMU, the graduate students who wish to have health insurance must obtain it through a private company.

Feeling the insurance situation was inappropriate, Sen. Jackson took action and co-authored the bill.

“Graduate students at FAMU should be given the option to receive affordable health care through a health insurance benefits program provided by the university,” Jackson said.

Jackson also said that Alexander has put for an effort to grant insurance to graduate students, noting a town hall meeting that is in the works.

The senators in attendance unanimously passed the bill before the meeting’s end.

Contact Courtney Henderson at famuannews@hotmail.com