Student senate collecting signatures to vote on new constitution


Evelyn Li

The Illinois Student Senate gathers in the Illini Union. The group is voting to ratify a new constitution.

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

The Illinois Student Senate must collect 1900 more signatures over the next five days in order to endorse the Fall 2016 Student Referendum. The referendum proposes changes to the constitution, which include that the student body president and student body vice president would be popularly elected by the student body and that there would be a more efficient organization of student government.

Signing the petition does not show support for the new constitution, but rather shows support for the student body to vote on the constitution.

So far, the Illinois Student Senate has only a fraction of the required 2200 signatures, which is equal to five percent of the student population.

“(The problem is) that we can’t collect paper signatures this time around,” Vice-President Internal Spencer Haydary said. “We can only use a web-form, and that creates additional steps that may turn people off.”

Due to the fear of voter fraud, the senate is not allowed to collect written signatures. Instead, students will have to log on to the student senate website and sign the petition there.

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    In an attempt to mobilize efforts, Haydary sent out an email asking for fellow senators to sign up for times on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to help collect student signatures. Members of the senate were instructed to bring laptops to help students sign up electronically.

    Haydary thinks the senate is struggling to get all 2200 signatures because students have to sign the petition electronically.

    “I feel that people are limited by the fact that they have to sign in with their net IDs, and then read the consent form and sign electronically,” he said. “It may come across as a longer process than it actually is. Paper signatures would allow us to simply collect names, net IDs, etc. but we have to use the Web form.”

    Despite the limited time frame, Haydary believes the constitution will receive the required signatures to make it on the ballot.

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