Three students, running unopposed, were elected to Executive Board positions for the Student Senate on April 11.
Charles Karter was elected as president, Robel Tedoros was elected to director of Student Affairs and Legislative policies and Ivonne Hernandez was elected director of Diversity.
The lack of opponents was blamed, by Student Senate members, on a Senate by-law requiring students to serve at least one semester in the Student Senate before being eligible for a run at an Executive Board position. The Student Senate voted to strike this by-law on March 22.
While running unopposed in elections is not unheard of (judges are the most notable positions that run unopposed) it is unusual for such senior positions to not have an opponent.
The last student President Joe Amrhein ran against an opponent to secure his position. The new student President Karter was part of a group that attempted to remove Amrhein from office.
The Executive Board currently has four open positions, and according to Karter in response to how those positions will be filled, said, “Democracy would be the thing I like but a quality [Executive] Board is pertinent.”
This most likely means the Student Senate will be electing the other Executive Board members. Student Senate members are not elected by the student body. Instead, they are elected by the Student Senate itself, without a mandate from the student body they represent. However, Karter mentioned to a CCN reporter that he may run another presidential election in the Fall since the by-law was struck down.
Miki Huntington, who teaches political science at MCTC, though is not involved in student government, said in response to being asked about the continuing turmoil within the Executive Board and the General Assembly.
“If you have an Executive Board that has the power through [a] governing document to nominate somebody else to fill a vacant slot or whatever then I guess that the begs the question of if the people that are involved in it are the very people who get to change or amend the governing document itself, how democratic is it?”
Student Advisor for the student government Shannon Williams did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this article.