UA delays spring elections after commission chair resigns

The doors of the UA are open to students, Liu says

The Undergraduate Association has decided to delay its spring elections after the chair of its Election Commission resigned. Kyle Archer ’18, the current chief of staff, nominated Scott Perry ’19 to replace the former chair, Kathleen Chen ’17, earlier this month.

According to the new election agenda, the UA will release petition packets on March 13, and students have until March 24 to return them signed. Campaigns can start after spring break, on April 3. Voting will be open between April 17 and April 21, followed by the announcement of the winners on April 22.

The decision to change the election timeline was reached by UA councillors over email, an unusual step taken after the UA’s March meeting was cancelled.

All MIT undergraduates are eligible to hold a position in the Undergraduate Association and can run in the upcoming elections. However, the UA seems to face a recurrent struggle in finding presidential candidates. Last year, a single student ran for President: Sophia Liu ’17, the current President.

In order to be valid candidates, students have to submit a petition signed by 10 to 15 percent of the student body, Liu explained. This represents approximately 500 student signatures. Students can sign more than one petition.

The UA is composed of 17 committees and collaborates with 200 students. Its budget of $400,000 goes to organizing various projects throughout the year, among them last December’s Tech Twinkles and the new faculty dinner initiative.

Liu emphasized her desire to increase transparency and find ways to communicate with the student community. The doors of the UA are open to students who would like to help on this matter, she said, noting that difficulty in mass communication seems to be behind the current lack of candidates for UA positions.