The wait is over. The Student Assembly Elections Committee announced this morning that Ulysses Smith, ’14, will be the next president of the Assembly.
With the ruling, the Committee has entered unprecedented waters, for the results of the election were swayed by the disqualification of candidate Stephen Breedon. Breedon was charged with violating the Election Rules, and the delay this past week was the result of this challenge and the following appeal process.
With the public release of the Committee’s ruling this morning came reports that Smith had been the one to file the challenge. These reports were confirmed by Smith this afternoon.
“Anytime a candidate feels that another candidate has violated an election rule, he can challenge,” stated Smith.
Per election rules, once Breedon was disqualified, the votes were reallocated to either Smith or Jay Lee, depending on which candidate students selected as their second choice for president. (So apparently there was a reason for us to vote for more than one candidate.)
Smith won with a total of 2227 votes, surpassing Lee’s 2074.
Due to the nature of campaign rules, the student body will never know how the vote tally would have looked had Breedon not been disqualified.
Smith’ challenge noted that Breedon “organized a campaign rally that violated the Code of Conduct on March 4th at 1:30 PM.”
The challenge accused Breedon and his supporters of using “amplified sound” during the event, giving him an unfair advantage on voting day. Smith provided photographic and video evidence that Breedon and his supporters were using a megaphone during the aforementioned event.
“The Elections Committee recognizes that the Noise Ordinance policy itself is not in the text of the Elections Rules,” the report states. “However, it is very clearly stated in text of the Elections Rules – and was stated in person multiple times – that a violation of any University policy is a violation of Elections Rules.”
In order to find the rule being referred to, one must look through the Student Activity Organizations Handbook Policy on Registration of Events. The rule states that individuals are only allowed to use amplified sound on Ho Plaza between noon and 1 p.m., and only after acquiring the necessary permits. Breedon’s event occurred thirty minutes out of that time frame and lacked permits.
This thirty minute time difference, as well as the fact that Breedon’s event moved away from Ho Plaza for a brief period of time, led to the Committee’s decision that Breedon had an unfair advantage worthy of disqualification.