Keep Dave Gabrielson and Stephanie To as President and VP of USG
Because of a minor technicality that USG knew about leading up to the elections, USG determined that Dave and Steph are disqualified. The Student Body spoke and elected Dave and Steph. The technicality should have been addressed well before the elections, not afterwards. Let USG know that we want the President and VP to be the people that we elected!
First of all, USG would like to apologize for all of the confusion and our error over the elections. It was determined after elections closed that the ticket that held David and Stephanie’s name was actually ineligible. USG made the mistake by putting them on the ballot; we knew the election packet was turned in late, but we did not realize it was a blatant violation of our bylaws. If we would have known this prior, their names would not have appeared on the ballot. Due to this mistake, and the fact that the ineligible candidates won the election, we are reopening the elections for the Student Body President and Vice President positions.
This election is open to any students who are interested in the positions of Student Body President and Vice President. A new timeline has been created, and is as follows.
April 16th: Election packets available for pick up
April 17th: Election packets due at 12:00pm in hand to Jenn Mazzotta in the Student Activities Office
April 17th: Election poll opens at 5:00 pm
April 20th: Election poll closes at 5:00 pm
The election packet can be found in your email. Student Body President and Vice President will run on the same ticket, therefore only one packet must be turned in, and only 100 signatures will be required due to the short timeline.
Again, we are truly sorry for the mistake we have made. Make sure you voice your opinion by voting.
Dave Gabrielson commented
Let your voice be heard again. Voting begins tomorrow.
Hannah Rossi commented
A revote is the only fair way to ensure thay the student body effectively and legally selects the people who represent the undergraduate student body, regardless of whatever miscommunications or technicalities occurred.
Mark Bowen commented
So, as a yik-yaking student who isn't really into the farcical dramedy of student government, but is weighing in because he's annoyed at injustice, here's my thought: All that the article said was:
"...Candidates must submit the petition during the stipulated time period. Failure to enter such petition before the date of closing of nominations will prohibit the candidate's name from appearing on the ballot" - Article IX.A.3.b
Basically, their position on the ballot was invalid, but that's the fault of the people in control of the ballot.
The article says nothing about being disqualified from being elected- merely appearing on the ballot. So, basically, Dave and Stephanie won in the same way that a write in candidate would.
If Stephanie and Dave are taken out of office there needs to be a revote. I don't accept the officers being forced on us. It's my voice, my choice.
Dave and Stephanie should be allowed to remain in office. The other team bringing up a technicality after the results came in, when it could have been brought up weeks ago was a result of losing. The issue in their eyes isn't a packet that was turned in late, it was the fact that they lost. Dave and Stephanie shouldn't be punished because the other team is upset. USG allowed them to run and shouldn't be able to revoke the privilege, especially after the results came in.
I am not a big fan of politics which is why I have not been involved in the USG. But, having been involved and held an officer position in several organizations, I can see how USG has impact over the organizations such as funding.
After briefly going through all of these comments, I think it is ridiculous that we are trying to make a huge fuss over whether people should be disqualified or qualified because they turn in the election packet ONE day late. My impression is that Dave was able to find a person very quickly after the previous candidate resigned and was able to turn in the packet a day late? If it was two days late or a month late, that could be a different story.
Well, I don't care about the story, and I commend all the candidates for willing to take the chance at running for president and vice-president. I commend all of the candidates for acting on their own good terms. What is most important now is that USG and all the (President, vice-president...) candidates try to regain the trust of the school community. Show us why we should care about USG, and instead of trying to fuss over the tiny deadline (one day late or one minute late or one microsecond late), let this be an experience for us and try to learn from it and move forward.
Bylaws broken by Dave Gabrielson and Stephanie To:
Article IX.A.3.b: failure to turn in packet on time (due to extenuating circumstances and faculty advisement)
Bylaws broken by USG:
Article IX.A.3.b: allowing Gabrielson and To onto the ballot
Article IX.A.2: having only 2 members on the Elections Committee, as well as having the election committee strip elected from office, as it states the election committee only has the power during the election
Article IV.A.7: removing Gabrielson and To without 3/4 vote of the entire voting membership after official announcement was made (notice needs to be made 1 week before)
Article II.3: Not creating and maintaining self-governance by the students.
We could get lost all day in technicalities, but the bigger picture is that USG is failing to represent the student body's wishes. And the person who made this complaint is supposedly going to be the (un-elected) president? I don't what that in a leader, especially when they ran under "Your voice, your choice." You have taken away both our choice and our voice.
Paige Becker commented
James, it's interesting to me that you chose to quote that article because no where does it say that the elected can be removed from office. As well, Dave and Steph did not put themselves on the ballot, USG did. So it was USG who broke their own bylaws.
Overturning the vote based on a technicality after the fact is a pretty scummy and childish thing to do.
From my understanding, the election committee ignored the broken by-laws by letting Gabrielson and To run on the ballot (I feel confident saying they knew about the 1 day late signatures, because myself, a student not involved at all in USG, knew about it). Now that the results are out and it seems that the losers are unhappy with the decision, USG is attempting to un-ignore that by-law and in doing so ignoring a possible bigger by-law (that is removing the rightfully elected winners)?
In doing so, USG is negating the voice of the student body- those they are supposed to be serving. To most, government=corruption, but I had more confidence in the students I elected not to sink so low.
I don't think anyone is disputing that they could have been disqualified earlier had that been the decision at the time.
With that said though, USG failed to fully staff the elections committee (the real authority in the situation) so it could not, and still cannot properly conduct business without a 3rd member. So the real authority was out of commission, the parliamentarian has massive conflict of interests and in lieu of them the Director of Student Actuvities advised that Dave do the next best thing. Yes they violated the letter of the law, but not the spirit. It's not like turning it in late gave them some advantage, if anything it hurt them. But the intention of the rule is to give a deadline so that all parties know who's in the running by a certain date. Both sides still knew exactly what was going on so the spirit and the intention of the rule were absolutely still intact.
If at any point prior to the election, even just prior to the public announcement of the winner for God sakes, this had been brought up, and dealt with, I don't think anyone would be this upset. But the whole rule this is all hinging on just says 'you can't be on the ballot if you turn the packet in late', not 'you can be forcibly removed from office at any time if you turn your packet in late'.
It's completely ridiculous for USG to not have any sort of the same deadline accountability that they are so mercilessly enforcing on everyone else.
Gabrielson and To should not have been able to run in the first place, so they don't deserve the seat. Yes, USG should have disqualified them earlier, but they still did not follow the by-laws and need to be disqualified. I fully believe James should Karen should, and rightfully have the positions.
Paige Becker commented
James, everyone knew that they turned in their signature packet a day late. It was not something they were hiding by any means. Do not act ignorant when you knew this happened. It was yours and USG's responsibility to take care of this well before the debate, putting their names on the ballot, and the election happened. USG are the ones who messed up because they knew the packet was turned in late yet chose to let Stephanie and Dave run anyways. As well, Dave and Stephanie had no choice as Dave's original running mate dropped out just before the signatures had to be turned in. Although Dave and Steph may have broken this by law, USG is now breaking some of their own bylaws by removing Dave and Steph from their elected position after everything has happened. USG knew about the late turn in of the packets and were they truly concerned about following the bylaws, they would not have put Dave and Steph on the ballot.
I don't understand why James is being left to defend his running mate's complaint. Why is Karen not saying anything?
Joshua Hoffman commented
James and Karen,
While your points hold water in pure jurisprudence, they will surely ostracize you in the court of public opinion. I beseech you both to reconsider your actions. Continue to represent the voice of the Mines student to the community, faculty, and institution without having the title. You are sure to garner more respect and credibility with that than you could ever hope to get being known as the duo that wandered into office behind a wall of (clearly) unsupported litigation.
What was the specific reason of disqualification?
Let me begin with this, I hope to not point fingers or place blame on any of the parties reading this post, it is simply my goal to voice my opinion as a highly involved student who cares dearly about this campus, and the students it houses. It has come to my understanding that after the official announcement had been made at the Ore Cart Pull, the winners of the 2015 USG elections have been removed from office due to some apparent violations of the USG by-laws. Now in a effort to obtain an objective stance and base my opinion on fact I have done some research into the USG by-laws and would like to point out this.
First and foremost, the violation in question was public knowledge and if the Parliamentarian acted with the same diligence during the election period as after the announcement was made I believe this whole scandal would of been avoided, not to mention the by-laws would have been adhered to. More specifically, if I understand the by-laws correctly, the election committee is responsible for the rule and regulations for the duration of the election, Article IX.A.2.b, yet the election committee allowed the candidates to proceed with the process under full knowledge of the late packet.
Secondly, after the official announcement had been made the removal of an officer no longer falls to the election committee. Article IV.A.7, states to remove an elected officer or appointed officer it takes a vote of three-fourths of the entire voting membership.
Now based upon the above citations of the current by-laws, it seems to me turning in an election pack less than 1 business day late is magnitudes smaller than the violations that have since occurred in removing the officers elect.
To finalize, the winners of the election do not matter to me, I find that the students at this school are hardworking and driven people who would do a good job no matter what. However the benign neglect for the by-laws set out for the organization that is supposed to represent our student body is bafflingly unacceptable. The future of the confidence that the student body reposes in USG hangs in the balance of this decision, and it is my strong recommendation that those that were officially announced and elected be reinstated.
All the best,
A Concerned Mines Student
I think there should be a reelection. Start the process over because both sides are breaking rules stated in the bylaws.
Your timeline matches mine. However, I would like to remind you that I was not consulted over the issue. Jenn is the Director of Student Activities and, to the extent of my knowledge, did give Dave permission. However, she did not have this power. Had I known at the time, I would most definitely have objected.
I congratulated Dave and Stephanie because I was happy that they won, because I know they are good people with strong leadership experience (I believe both are presidents of their respective houses). I then requested to be reappointed because I enjoy being on USG and wished to continue the experience. I submit the complaint per request of my running mate.
With regards to the Election Committee, I would refer that question to either Lauren or Gerald as I had no association with it in order to observe Article IX.A.2.a. I will try my best to answer on their behalf, but know that I may be incorrect.
Article IV.A.7 would apply had Dave and Stephanie won under normal circumstances. Given that Article IX.A.3.b had been violated in the process, corrective measures were taken by the Election Committee to ensure that the Bylaws were followed. Collin Marshall was initially on the Election Committee as well, but then decided to run for At-Large Senator to the Faculty and removed herself.
James, I have a couple questions, but first please correct my timeline if I have this wrong.
As I understand it, Dave contacted Jenn Mazzotta the Director of Student Activities when he lost his running mate and she told him to recollect signatures and submit the packet 1 business day late. He did, and neither you, the Parliamentarian--who as I understand it are in charge of making sure all the rules are followed--nor the Elections Committee objected. They won the popular vote, the announcement was made at which point you yourself congratulated them and asked that they still consider you to be reappointed as parliamentarian. Then you submitted a complain that the Article IX.A.3.b had been violated, and the Elections Committee (composed of Lauren Schumacher and Gerald Miller) informed them they did not belong on the ballot to begin with and stripped them of their victory.
So looking over your bylaws it looks like the Elections Committee is in violation of Article IX.A.2.a by not having a 3rd member. So my first question is how can the decision to invalidate Dave and Stephanie's ticket be valid when its not even being made by a fully staffed committee? It seems a little hypocritical for one rule skirting group to penalize another.
Once the announcement had been made though wasn't the decision officially made? It seems like Article IV.A.7 which reads that "By affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the entire voting membership for the senate taken at a regular meeting, to remove any elected or appointed officer.." would require a 3/4 vote to remove them now that the complaint has been filed after the fact. So shouldn't they still the President Elect and VP Elect until the senate decides otherwise?