The Hashemite University (HU) has modified the regulations governing student council elections to ensure better representation of students from all departments and create a gender balance, a university official said on Tuesday. HU acting President Kamal Bani Hani said student representatives in the council used to be elected based on faculty representation, “and this left some departments without representatives in the council”. However, the new regulations stipulate that for each 300 students in any department, there will be a representative in the council. In departments with more than 300 students, a seat will be allocated for the candidate who collects the most votes, and a second seat will be allocated for the female candidate who collects the most votes, “even if there are male candidates with more votes”. Bani Hani explained that this amendment seeks to ensure women’s representation in the council, “as only one female student has won a seat on the council since the establishment of the university”. Established in 1995, the university currently has more than 23,000 students enrolled, 61 per cent of whom are women, according to Bani Hani. Other amendments include allowing students in the fourth and fifth academic years to run in student council elections, whereas they were previously not allowed to, he added. In addition, the new regulations will allow students who have received notices (the lowest level of disciplinary action at the university) to run for seats on the council, while those who received warnings for violating the university’s rules will still be barred from competing. The new regulations also allow students to present their campaign platforms, which was prohibited before. The regulations, which were adopted by the HU council of deans on Monday, will be implemented in the upcoming student council elections scheduled to take place on March 1, according to Bani Hani. Meanwhile, he said that the university has drafted a five-year development plan, which will be announced in a press conference in two weeks.