GSC elections come up short
By Lakshmana Rao
The election meeting of the Graduate Student Council ended in a quandary Tuesday when the council could not find candidates to fill its officer posts for the upcoming year.
All the candidates who had been nominated for the various posts at the March meeting of the GSC withdrew their nominations before the election. No other candidates were willing to be nominated to any of the posts at the election meeting.
The GSC constitution requires that it shall nominate and elect its officers, which include the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, at its April meeting each year. The constitution and by-laws do not address the possibility of there not being any nominees at the time of the elections.
The council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution, sponsored by Steven D. Penn G, calling for the elections to be postponed to a later meeting to allow more time for new nominations. The council has called for a special meeting on April 30 to elect its officers. Nominations for the various posts are open until the new election date, according to David G. Steel G, current secretary of the GSC.
This is the first time in the history of the GSC that no nominees for the officers' posts were available at the time of elections.
"We have a very unusual situation this year," Steel said. "Most of the officers and the committee chairs, who have traditionally been natural candidates for the higher posts, are graduating in the next year. This has left a vacuum of leadership within the council."
The council discussed the possibility of having an alternate form of government in view of the present crisis. It considered having a "rotating facilitator" if the post of president cannot be filled. However, no action was taken at the meeting.
The council operates through six standing committees. The chairperson of each committee is elected by the members of that committee. Ramnath Subramaniam G was elected chairman of the Orientation Committee and Arun K. Iyengar G was voted chairman of the Activities Committee for the coming year. The Housing and Community Affairs, Graduate Student News, Academic Projects and Policy, and Muddy Charles Pub committees have yet to elect their chairpersons for the coming year.