A fire that broke out in the Ivy Room two weeks ago prolonged the deadline for students to turn in petitions seeking candidacy in the Class Council officer elections next week. Nevertheless, the extra two days made available for petitioners to enter the races did not forestall any last-minute changes in the candidate lineup, released last night by Jennifer Davis, director of the Class Councils.
While the Senior Class presidential election originally featured Lisa Adelman ’02 running unopposed, Davis’ official list showed two candidates vying for the position: Adelman and Danielle Martin ’02, the current Class of 2002 president.
Following a Class Councils meeting yesterday, Davis notified Adelman that the Class Election Officer Committee — made up of the vice presidents for each class — would hear an appeal from Martin to consider accepting her petition past the deadline set by the provision of the Class Councils constitution.
“Due to her academic and personal situation, she felt that there was justification for turning it in beyond the deadline,” said Christian Pierce ’02, Class of 2002 vice president and a member of the election committee.
The committee agreed with Martin’s reasoning, thereby conditionally accepting her appeal and granting her a space on the ballots that will decide the election next week.
“She had a rigorous academic course load which could have definitely hindered her ability to complete the packet at that time,” Pierce said.
Confirming her candidacy last night following the committee’s deliberations, Martin expressed relief in the outcome.
“I’ve been interested and involved in Class Council since when I set foot on campus,” she said.
Should Martin emerge victorious next week, she will have represented the Class of 2002 during each of her four years at Cornell. The issues that Martin raised in her appeal, however, were not the only factors calculated by the election committee, Pierce noted.
“I would say that we did take into account that it was an uncontested race,” he said.
Adelman responded to this consideration, questioning whether the committee’s decision was rooted in a constitutional framework. From her perspective, the rules setting a deadline for candidate petitions are firm — and cannot be compromised.
“I am the only candidate who had [the] petition and other required materials in by the deadline,” Adelman said. “I have faith in the process and that this matter will be resolved accordingly.”
Claire Ackerman ’01, Class of 2001 president, who worked last November on amending the Class Councils constitution, asserted that the committee’s ruling need not be challenged.
“They know what their duties and their responsibilities are,” Ackerman said. “They based their decision on what they felt was the most appropriate and legitimate reasoning.”
Still, Adelman argued that the decision deserves a closer look.
“Whether its an uncontested race or not, I do think the election committee should adhere first and foremost to their constitution,” she said.
Adelman noted that she will return to the election committee today and present an appeal of their latest decision, adding that in the meantime, “I will just go about this as I normally would.”
Archived article by Matthew Hirsch