Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association struggling, as elections delayed for 3 months

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Elections | Comments

The PRSSA has announced its yearly elections for their national board that were to be held on September 6, more than 3 months after the organization’s constitution mandates them. The Puerto Rican Statehood Students Association is a group of civic minded students who are committed to the goals of advancing the statehood movement for Puerto Rico not only on the island but also on the mainland United States. Members of the chapters have gone on to be governors, secretary of states, as well as the current first lady, Beatriz Rosselló, who was a former chapter president. The organization is dedicated to educating students regarding the issues of statehood versus non-statehood and advocating a pro-statehood standpoint. The group has suffered a bit in recent years but has affirmed their dedication to reaching out to students across Puerto Rico and across the United State to bring them information regarding the issues.

With the problems that have faced the organization in the previous year, there was hope that the election issues would be resolved and that the student organization would be able to revitalize their efforts. However, the group looks like it has amplified their issues rather than move to any sort of real resolution. In the PRSSA Constitution is stated that the elections for the national board will be held at the end of May, with office holding beginning on June 1. It has only been released on their Twitter that the elections were held on September 6, 2017. That is a whole three months in violation of their constitutional standards. There is no mention of the chapters election status or a formal postponement throughout the chapters interactions online or in press releases.

While June 2017 was a massive year for not only the student statehood faction, but for every statehood supporter in Puerto Rico, and while it may have been merely a postponement for consistency, the previous years’ discrepancies, a declining support base, and a still inactive and/or broken website the PRSSA may be in a dangerous position. They are currently pushing for new members, students who are currently attending high school or university, and hoping for a clean voting slate. As stated the vote was to held September 6, 2017, with Pedro Rodriguez as chairman of elections committee.

As of September 5 the Facebook page for the group has released the candidates for the election. The votes will be votes of good faith for President with Chrisitan E. Santos Gonzales as the nominee, for Executive Vice President with Melanie A. Vargas Velez as the nominee, for Secretary with Cristian Andrés Bernaschina as the nominee, and Treasurer with Ramon A. Ramirez as the nominee. For the Associate Vice President position there will be a vote between Julio Correra and Jorge Emmanuel Baez-Pagan. However an update explains that the elections will be postponed until further notice due to the effects of Hurricane Irma and out of a desire to keep everyone safe.