Elected members of the Undergraduate Student Government won't be able to throw their weight behind candidates in next semester's USG election.
At a heated meeting on Tuesday, the USG failed to muster enough votes to change its policy and will continue its practice of prohibiting senators from backing candidates. The amendment, first proposed by Sen. Shayan Kohanteb, would lift the ban on elected USG officials, which includes senators, executive board members and the director of technology, backing other candidates. The senate was split on the vote, 6-6, but needed eight votes to change its original code.
Kohanteb argued that currently elected officials know what the job is like and would be able to help the student body find good candidates. He said that he and other senators have the right to voice their opinion in these situations.
"I'm a senator. I try to help out the community. I ran for a reason because I have opinions that I strongly believe in," Kohanteb said on Wednesday. "To say that, just because I have that spot I have to remain mute, is unfair to say the least."
Sen. Michaela Murphy, who opposed the change, said that the possibility of nepotism has always been very high, so high that a film student made a documentary a few years ago about the issue.
"In any institution, there is that concern of how much higher is that barrier to entry for the outside looking who want to run for senate," Murphy said in an interview Wednesday.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that USG senators could not endorse presidential candidates. All elected USG officials, including senators, exec board members and the director of technology, cannot endorse any USG candidates.