Petition questions SA districts

By Dana Netzel

A petition submitted by a newly elected senator questions the validity of the Student Association’s five-district voting system.

Newly elected Sen. Phill Buoscio, District 1, will appear before the SA Supreme Court to discuss unequal representation within each district.

SA President Huda Scheidelman said Buoscio did not need to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case because senate and SA Internal Affairs Committee could have addressed the petition.

Buoscio said he discovered the unequal representation during his election campaign because it was more difficult to get signatures in District 1 than in District 2, his district in last year’s election.

District 2 includes students in Greek Row, which is far greater than the number of students in District 1, he said.

“If it is unconstitutional then it should be ruled as such,” Buoscio said. “I wanted to make sure it was done fairly and start from a clean slate.”

SA Vice President Steve Coloia said if the Supreme Court decides the petition is valid, the IAC will have to propose a new system.

The SA Constitution states the senate should have representatives from the entire NIU student body. According to SA bylaws, each senator should represent 500 students.

The system was divided into five districts, each with nine senate seats; however, Buoscio claims the districts are not proportional.

District 5 has about 3,400 students, so seven senators should represent the district, Buoscio said.

There are about 5,000 students in District 4 and only nine senators, when according to the bylaws there should be 10 representatives, he said.

SA Election Commissioner Ray Callahan said, “I don’t like the present system and I wouldn’t mind seeing it change.”

District 1 includes commuters living outside the city district and all DeKalb students living east of the Kishwaukee River. District 2 includes the area enclosed to the north by DeKalb city limits, to the west by Annie Glidden Road, to the south by Lucinda Avenue and to the east by the Kishwaukee River.

District 3 excludes all residence halls and consists of the area within the DeKalb city limits to the west side of Annie Glidden Road and the Kishwaukee River.

District 4 consists of Douglas Hall, Stevenson Towers and Grant Towers. University Plaza, Neptune, Lincoln and Gilbert Halls are included in District 5.