Junior Shruthi Sundaram is no stranger to the controversy that often surrounds student elections.
Sundaram, who last year served as vice chairwoman of the Board of Elections, has been nominated by Student Body President Mary Cooper for chairwoman of the board.
She plans to use her experience to make the election process run as smoothly as possible and knows what she’s getting into, she said.
Sundaram also served on the board as a freshman. She said her time on the board has prepared her for the position.
“It’s not going to be a shock to me when conflicts do arise,” she said.
“(My focus is) getting past all of the smaller squabbles and just having an election season where everything goes according to plan and everybody follows the rules,” she said.
Andrew Phillips, Sundaram’s predecessor who dealt with several lawsuits as chairman, said in an email that he selected Sundaram as vice chairwoman last year for her hard work on the board.
“She was a superb vice chairwoman, is well-versed in all aspects of running the (board) and is impeccably qualified for the job,” he said.
Phillips said he admires her ability to handle tough situations.
“She doesn’t beat around the bush,” he said.
Sundaram was confirmed by the summer’s Student Congress last week.
Cooper said the fall Student Congress must also approve the appointment, and that she is confident Sundaram will be confirmed. She picked Sundaram for her experience, personality and organization, she said.
“She’s very passionate about the job and understands the importance that the Board of Elections has,” Cooper said.
Cooper’s first choice, former student body treasurer Dakota Williams, was rejected during the final meeting of Student Congress in April.
Cooper reopened applications in the summer, treating the second application process as a fresh start, she said.
Williams, who does not plan to participate in student government next year, recognized the difficulties associated with the position.
“I wish (Sundaram) the best of luck,” he said. “It’s probably the hardest and least appreciated job within student government, period.”
After his nomination by Cooper, Williams said he would focus on revising Title VI, which deals with student elections.
Sundaram also said Title VI needs to be revised, due to conflicting clauses within the legislation.
She cited issues that arose last year when Ian Lee ran for student body president without resigning from his position as student body secretary, which was illegal, according to a clause in Title VI.
“It was our job to decide which (clause) to follow, and I don’t think anyone should be put in that position,” Sundaram said.
Zach De La Rosa, speaker of Student Congress, said he expects members of Student Congress to introduce clarifications for Title VI next year.
He said three items will likely be clarified — which positions a student can hold in student government while also running for student body president, how hearings take place and punitive measures like fines.
Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.