In the midst of a cluttered inbox, Wellesley students can expect to find a “College Government” Constitution from Sept. 25, its contents describing the eligibility of students to vote in College Government elections. This email clarified an incorrect statement that said, “Any Wellesley College Student (abroad, on leave, etc.) can vote in this or any CG election.” On page 17, Section VII, H in the College Government Constitution, it is stated that “all part-time and full-time, degree-seeking, student activity fee-paying students shall be eligible to vote.”
“The election results will not affect part-time students as much as it will affect the rest of the students who are full time so I agree with the limitations on voter eligibility as stated by the College Government Constitution,” said Hannah Blonder ’22.
After three elections, senior Kimberly Chia Yan Min was elected as College Government President.
When asked about voter eligibility, Chia responded that ‘this is something that the future Elections Committee needs to look into. It is important to note that the ballot is not only administered by students –– it is a collaboration also with the Office of Student Involvement I believe. So who gets sent the ballot and who doesn’t is something that warrants a deeper investigation.”
From there, students were reminded by email every day leading up to the election to vote; on the day of, student members of the Elections Committee camped in the dining hall of Bates to give out stickers to those who voted. Much of this encouragement came from the fact that the College Government President position has been empty for two elections. Junior Saafia Masoom served as interim College Government President and one of the Co-Chairs of Special Elections Committee.
“CG recognizes the need for reform when it comes to the way elections are run, and we hope that campus will engage with us this year in our attempts to make the system work in a way that is practical and fair,” Masoom said.
Complications for the first election arose due to the uncertainty of a rising junior’s eligibility to run for CGP. All but the most recent update of the constitution states that the position is only open to seniors.
The second election had only one candidate on the ballot forcing the winner to require 51 percent of votes. When this was not obtained, a president was not elected.
When questioned about the delay of the election, Chia responded, “Rather than it being stressful, I treat it as a blessing. Due to the fall election timing, first-years were able to vote for CG Cabinet positions. That’s really cool, because they get to have a direct stake in College Government soon after coming to campus.”
After the ruling which limited CGP candidates to rising seniors, Chia felt more comfortable. “I had my summer break to rest and learn more about myself, and now, as a senior, I really do feel more confident taking up the position. I ran with a lot more confidence and peace than before –– it also meant I had a longer time to think about College Government and ready myself for another elections cycle.”