Community Called to the Polls

On Monday October 8th, roaming ballots will cross campus to allow Antioch College students, faculty and staff to vote on a double-referendum.

The student-initiated community referendum was first presented during September 25th Community Meeting by ComCil member Erin-Aja Grant and AdCil member Julian Sharp. They insisted that the drafts were temporary, and open to everyone’s input. “The process of holding a community referendum shall be transparent, collaborative, and efficient” read the Referendum Schedule poublished soon thereafter.

The documents were made freely available for community members to edit and offer suggestions for revisions. A schedule was produced specifying the timeline and process of the action and giving deadlines for editing suggestions. Throughout the past week, there have been regular updates on FirstClass Announcements as new drafts of the referendums emerged. On Tuesday October 2nd, the final referendum language has been presented to both governance councils and moved forward by JointCil.

First Year Student Ben Horlacher was part of the language committee that was formed to facilitate the editing process. “We looked at every single edit and talked about it, though there wasn’t a whole lot’” he recounted, “We proceded by group consensus.”

On Monday, the community will have two questions to answer. “A vote of no confidence in Antioch University Chancellor Tulisse Murdock,” and a “Vote in favor of the future of Antioch College as an independent and self-governing institution, no longer under the auspices of Antioch University.” “Issue number one is to make Toni Murdock accountable for her actions of August 31st and others throughout her ‘reign’ as chancellor—her cumulative effect on the college over the years,” explained Sharp, “Issue two is for the Antioch Community to set its direction for the future.”

A referendum working group will be coordinating the logistics of the Monday election. Maximum turnout is, if not expected, hoped for. “There were so many students leading this process,” commented Sharp, “It was beautiful how people stepped up to leadership in such a collaborative spirit. Our community is fiery and strong.”

The second issue of the referendum states as an introduction: “Today Antioch College finds itself at the crossroads of its existence.” If so, then in initiating the community referendum students are taking the lead and choosing their path.