by Kyla Qi.
Every year around late March, RoboJackets elects a new group of core officers. This is a great opportunity for passionate members to identify themselves and be identified by others, and for the rest of the organization to directly influence the path of RoboJackets for the next year. To be eligible for a position, a person must be an active member of RoboJackets for at least one semester. The positions of President, Vice President, and Treasurer may only be held by a person with at least one year of membership. A few weeks before the elections are set to take place, members can nominate people (including themselves) to run for any of the elected positions. A member must be nominated, seconded, and accept their nomination in order to run.
During election night, the process begins with the President position, followed by Vice President, Secretary, Shop Manager, Promotions Chair, and Outreach Chair, which until recently was a PM position. All candidates running for a given position will leave the room, individually returning to deliver a speech and take questions from attending members. This allows each candidate to deliver their platform without being influenced by their opponents’ ideas. Once every candidate has given a speech and field questions, the rest of the attending members will engage in a deliberation period where they discuss each candidates’ strengths and weaknesses before moving to a vote and electing a new officer. Candidates that weren’t elected have the option of running for next position in the process.
This process has some advantages, as it allows attending members to learn about each candidate’s platform in detail before voting, and gives them the opportunity to bring up discussion points about candidates that they might not otherwise be comfortable speaking about. However, the intent of the discussion period is usually to bring the attending membership towards a consensus; as a result the election meeting regularly takes several hours.
This year’s newly elected core officers are:
President: Shishir Pandit-Rao
Vice-President: Tan Gemicioglu
Treasurer: Cade Tyler
Secretary: Sana Hafeez
Shop Manager: Christopher Bellflowers
PR Chair: Shail Patel
Outreach Chair: Malak Bayyari