May 2, 2003

S.A. Overturns Election Results

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In an emergency session of the Student Assembly (S.A.) yesterday, Laura London ’05 regained her electoral win after a new resolution, proposed by Josh Roth ’03, College of Arts and Sciences representative, passed with a two-thirds majority.

The emergency session came after what one audience member described as an emotionally charged meeting which featured S.A. President Noah Doyle ’03 storming out in a rage followed by Erica Kagan ’05, current vice president of finance, Undesignated Representative Jackie Koppell ’05 and Josh Bronstein ’04, vice president for internal operations. Bronstein later returned to the room. Dean of Students Kent Hubbell ’69 also gave what one source called “a concerned speech” about the S.A.’s treatment of Associate Ombudsman Ronald A. Bricker.

The S.A. Elections Committee ruled that Stuti Mandala ’04, London, Josh Jacobs ’06 and Ross Blankenship ’05 should be disqualified. Bricker, however, said that “the candidates elected by student ballot should not be disqualified for minor violations that do not rise to the level of altering the fairness of the election.” The S.A. overturned the ombudsman’s recommendations last week.

Hubbell focused on the issue of fairness. He represented the administration’s concerns, specifically Susan H. Murphy, vice president for student and academic services, Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice president for University relations, and himself regarding the way the elections were handled and the manner in which the Assembly handled those events, according to audience members.

On the meeting’s agenda was a resolution disapproving of the Elections Committee’s findings. Roth’s new resolution was intended to review London’s disqualification.

“I actually made a motion which was an adjustment of the motion which was on the agenda,” Roth said.

At 9 p.m. last night after the meeting was over, Bronstein sent out an e-mail to the members of the S.A. which said that “the result of today’s Student Assembly meeting … is that all decisions of the elections committee remain final.”

He went on to call the emergency meeting “invalid” and wrote that “standards of modern democracy demonstrate that such actions are contrary to ethical public service.”

Jason Greenberg ’03 responded to the e-mail two hours later and told the S.A. members that he is “tired of arguing over this issue and extremely tired of talking to a specific few of you … it was only a select few of you, and you know who you are, who wouldn’t even consider the facts presented today. You have voted the same way as each other the whole year and don’t think for yoursel[ves]. I find it really sad that a political alliance means more to you than the morals and values that should govern your decisions.”

In an e-mail to The Sun, Ari Epstein ’04, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences representative, wrote that Bronstein was “lying through his teeth and he should not be trusted. The rebellion which occurred in the S.A. is the first I’ve ever heard of and it happened because our leadership has ignored rules, failed to execute its basic responsibilities, and attempted to remove rightfully elected candidates to solidify what little influence it will have in next year’s elections.”

The final results of yesterday’s meeting are yet to be seen. Elections for next year’s executive board, however, are scheduled for next week.

Archived article by Andy Guess