The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) group on campus will finally be holding an election to appoint new e-board members in the beginning of the upcoming spring semester after a failed election in the spring of 2017.
ASSE is an international organization for safety students which said it helps students network to future employers and develop their professional skills.
Mason Robbins, a KSC 2016 graduate, was the president of ASSE in the spring of 2017. The group decided to use SurveyMonkey, an online survey service, to tally the results of the election.
“There were a few areas that were not explored thoroughly enough to realize that SurveyMonkey, in the capacity that we were using it, would not be a fair voting process,” said Robbins.
He said that anyone with the link to the survey could vote so they had no way of knowing if only members of the organization were voting. There was also no way of knowing if a person voted more than one time.
“Once it was brought to our attention we addressed it properly. We went to our advisor saying we had to redo what we just did because there was a problem with it,” said Robbins.
At the same time, Robbins said, the student involvement office in the Student Center was notified.
At that time, the ASSE student chapter was told their bylaws had not been updated with the college since 1989. The group was then forced to comply with the bylaws set forth nearly 30 years later, which did not allow for electronic voting methods, even if they were done properly.
Chair of the Safety Department and Advisor to the group, Wayne Hartz said, “There’s been an ASSE student chapter here for a long time… and just about every year the chapter would apply for the best chapter of the year award and that required updated bylaws.”
“So those bylaws had been updated consistently, however, the bylaws that went to the student center had not,” said Hartz.
Nevertheless, the ASSE student chapter struggled to find a way to get the elections done before the year was up.
The bylaws set forth in the 1989 version stated that a written ballot needed to be posted before the date of the election, a timeline whichw would have put the group out past when classes were in session in the spring of 2017.
ASSE got back in the fall 2017 semester, the eboard had in place interim positions and set out with the goal of writing a new set of bylaws to give to the college. Along with a new advisor, the ASSE student chapter took the semester writing updated rules to make sure a mistake like this would not happen again.
“The new bylaws haven’t been accepted yet,” said the new advisor of the ASSE student chapter, Brian Bethel. “[ASSE is] reverting back to the old bylaws with paper ballots.”
Even still, Bethel said the elections are going to be held early in January, at the beginning of the spring 2018 semester.
Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org