Due to an oversight, all students are now eligible to run for the position of BSG treasurer in this spring's election cycle. Juniors Clark Gascoigne, John Masland, and Nicole Willey have all submitted petitions to run for the position.
According to Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) President DeRay Mckesson '07, a clause in the BSG constitution mandating that all treasurer candidates have previous experience on the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC) was unintentionally removed last year while the document was being revised.
The Elections Committee received a complaint from all voting members of the SAFC, including Masland, on April 10 asking whether Gascoigne met the qualification stated on election materials of having served on SAFC previously. When the commission turned to the constitution for a decision, it found that the clause had been inadvertently removed.
"Last year in reforming the overall BSG relationship with the SAFC, we changed that whole part of the constitution," Mckesson said.
"In rewriting that section, someone took out that qualification," he said, noting that the change was an oversight.
According to Mckesson, it is possible that the qualification will be written back into the constitution in the future, but that it will not be a factor in this election cycle.
Once the Election Commission realized that there was no clause in the constitution mandating previous SAFC experience, BSG reopened the petition process for the position of treasurer and held new information sessions for interested candidates.
"I think that [opening up the elections] was a smart move for this race; however, I am disappointed in the BSG for overlooking the fact that their revisions to the constitution unintentionally changed the election rules," Masland said in an e-mail to the Orient.
"[T]he long-standing requirement that the chair [of SAFC] must have previously served on the SAFC ensured that he or she had institutional memory," Masland wrote.
"It wouldn't surprise me if the BSG reintroduced the clause, but ultimately the students will get to decide," he said.
Masland, who has a year of SAFC experience, said that his platform for treasurer is three-fold.
First of all, "the money belongs to the students," he said. "My second point is that I stand for an approachable SAFC."
Masland's third point is that he is the only candidate with a full-year of experience on the SAFC.
Gascoigne, a Class of 2008 representative to BSG, said that he is the best candidate for the position since he has been both a club leader and a member of the SAFC. Clark has served a semester as a non-voting member of the SAFC as BSG's Student Organizations Oversight Committee's representative to the SAFC.
"I know what it's like to be on both sides of the table," he said.
"I know it's very intimidating [to present a budget] and I want to make it as easy as possible," he said, noting that he would aim to make more than one sample budget available online.
"I also want to be proactive and check in with the clubs to make sure that they are on the right page about it. Often time, you get people switching up treasurers and they don't really know what's going on," Gascoigne said.
Willey, who entered the race once BSG announced that all students were eligible, agreed with Gascoigne that experience on "both sides of the table" is an important trait for the future treasurer.
A co-leader of campus organization Safe Space, Willey said that presenting a budget to SAFC can be a "frustrating process."
"It seems that we've forgotten that that money they're allocating is for the students," she said. "I want to reward and respect the people who are putting in the time to fill out these sheets."
"Some organizations have figured out the system, which is fabulous for them and they get the money they want, [but] I get the feeling that it doesn't matter what I say when I sit at that table?I feel like the SAFC has already made up its mind," she said.
Elections for treasurer have been postponed until Wednesday and Thursday.