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OSA election trouble leads to new rules

The Oshkosh Student Association has revised the rules for taking away percentages of votes for OSA presidential elections. The revisions came after problems occurred during last year’s OSA presidential election.

After the 2017 OSA election, OSA created an Election Bylaws Review Committee to review the ways in which penalties are delegated. In previous years, penalties were given out by taking percentages of votes from the campaigns. Penalties for OSA presidential elections will now be reviewed through a point system.

OSA President Maria Berge said a change needed to be made and both herself and OSA Vice President Jared Schadrie went through with the revisions and wrote new bylaws for future elections.

“We got rid of that completely,” Berge said. “The biggest changes that were made were how [penalties] are handled.”

Penalties from eligible campaigns will be dealt with through a 15-point system. Once a certain campaign reaches 15 points of penalties, the campaign will be disqualified.

Originally, Berge and Schadrie purposed a 10-point system rather than 15, but after talking with the committee, it was changed to a 15-point system.

“I think a lot of students didn’t want to see a percentage of votes taken away from campaigns,” Schadrie said. “The downside is, students may get penalties; however it won’t affect the candidate until they reach 15 points.”

Berge said a change needed to be made to fix the disconnect between OSA and its presidential candidates. Berge hopes the new rules offer structure.

“There was a lot of issues last year,” Berge said. “It had been interpreted differently in past years, and this system makes it a little more cut and dry.”

Bryan Carter, a former OSA vice presidential candidate, said when looking for improvements, OSA needs to look internally.

“Nothing needs to change in OSA ballots,” Carter said. “What needs to change is the out-of-touch leadership who create and biasly enforce election deduction systems to bend elections in their favor.”

Carter points to the last OSA election as an example of the association’s problems.

“It just proves that OSA & its leadership are largely out of touch with the students, but their 2017 election results would also prove that,” Carter said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
OSA election trouble leads to new rules