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Elections Postponed, Declaration of Candidacy Extended

Early Monday evening, a ystud email from Tzvi Solomon, Chairman of the Canvassing Committee at Yeshiva University, announced that student government elections and the period of declaration of candidacy for those positions have both been extended.

The elections, which were to be held this Thursday, April 25, have been postponed to next Thursday, May 2. The declaration of candidacy period—which was already once postponed from March 24 to April 10—has now been extended again to end on April 24. During this period, students interested in running for positions on student government can apply to become candidates, thus beginning the process in which the Office of Student Life ensures their eligibility, signature requirements are met, and campaigns begin.

After several students and leading members of the student councils approached the Canvassing Committee, it became clear that there were serious concerns about the state of the elections. According to preliminary numbers, it appeared that all four presidential positions—YSU, YCSA, SOY, and Syms—were uncontested races. Several other positions were also unopposed, while still others had no candidates in the race.

The Canvassing Committee held an emergency meeting Monday morning with leading members of student council and Hezzy Jesin from the Office of Student life. After hearing arguments on both sides, the committee voted by simple majority that they would postpone the declaration of candidacy period and thus the elections as well.

“The quality of the candidates was very good,” Mr. Solomon explained, “but we did this to reach out to the student body one more time to give them a chance to represent their fellow students.”

“We wanted to garner more interest by extending the deadline. And that was our real goal: to see if there were more students who wanted to get involved in student government.”

Adam Neuman, current President of YCSA and a constitutional member of the Canvassing Committee strongly supported the decision. “I really felt that my role as a student leader and as a member of the canvassing committee was to promote the health of the election. And while the letter of the law did not suggest that it is my job to make sure that multiple candidates are running, I feel that it is in the spirit of the law to encourage as many people to vote and to make this as democratic a process as possible.”

Neuman continued, “I felt that one name on the ballot will encourage people to think that they’re just plugging a name in and that's the person who wins. And for someone to have that feeling didn't sit well with me when we very clearly had the ability to move this deadline and we knew there was an outpouring of people who wanted to run but who had simply missed the deadline.”

Gabi Weinberg, current President of SOY, added another voice in support of the decision. “There should be a feeling of competition and buzz on campus for elections,” he explained, “and having four presidential candidates unopposed does not bode well for healthy discussion about student government. Opening the field should hopefully allow that to take place.”

Candidates who met the earlier official deadlines and were running unopposed are somewhat hurt by the extension, as it allows for the possibility of competition where initially they had none. But even these candidates backed the extension.

“Even though I am running for a position in the election and am personally impacted by the decision,” said Adam Zimilover, current Vice President of YCSA who is running for President of the same group, “as a current member of student council I fully support the committee’s conclusion; it is important that every position has a candidate running, and that where candidates are already running there is as much competition as possible.”

Jesse Nathanson, incumbent Syms President running for reelection, also applauded the postponement. “I think it was the right decision for the student body,” he said. “And I think that's the most important thing.”


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