SGC-BBC Elections Board violates its own Elections Code

Jonathan Szydlo/BBC Managing Editor

The Student Government Council at the Biscayne Bay Campus’ Election Board met on March 7 to hear, deliberate, and decide on two issues that affect the contention of SGC-BBC’s presidency in this year’s elections.

The issues decided upon were whether Oluwatobi Adekoya could switch from being Pablo Haspel’s running-mate, and vice presidential candidate, to being a presidential candidate a week after the deadline for candidate applications had expired; and whether or not Haspel met the regulations, as stipulated by the SGC-BBC Elections Code, as being an eligible presidential candidate.

On March 5, via email, Adekoya contacted SGC-BBC Election Board Commissioner Weiyi Wang requesting a change be made to the candidate application he had submitted for review to the SGC-BBC Election Board.

According to the SGC-BBC’s Elections Code 703.06 Subsection XI, “Once a student has filed an application for a certain office, he or she may not change to any other office unless the original application is withdrawn and the application period is still open.”

The deadline for applications were due Feb. 29 at 5 p.m.

The SGC-BBC Elections Board unanimously voted in favor of allowing Adekoya to switch his candidacy from SGC-BBC vice president to president with Odimayo Oluwatamilore as his running-mate.

According to the SGC-BBC Elections Code 703.06 Subsection VII, “A candidate must file all registration documents with the Elections Board Commissioner on or before the deadline date and time designated by the Student Elections Board.”

Oluwatamilore previously submitted an application to be a SGC-BBC vice presidential candidate, but it was voided in lieu of a second application for him to run as an incumbent for the SGC-BBC Senator at Large seat by the Feb. 29 application deadline.

The SGC-BBC Elections Board proceeded to hear the matter of whether Pablo Haspel was an eligible SGC-BBC presidential candidate. Pending his acceptance as a grad student in fall 2012, Haspel would not be registered for classes.

According to the SGC-BBC Elections Code 703.06 Subsection XIII, the elections board commissioner will verify that all applicants meet the requirements for being eligible candidates through the Office of the Registrar.
703.06 Subsection XIII.1 continues, “The Elections Commissioner shall then strike from the list of candidates the names of those persons who have failed to qualify for their intended office.”

An official SGC-BBC 2012 Elections Candidate List was released to Student Media by SGC-BBC Public Relations Coordinator Samantha Metayer on March 5, after Wang had confirmed the eligibility of each candidate.
Haspel was on that list.

After deliberating on the matter, with the majority of the opposition’s debate being led by SGC-BBC President Denise Halpin, who attended the March 7 meeting as an observer and general member of the public, the Election Board unanimously voted to allow Haspel to continue his presidential candidacy upon presenting the board with a letter from the dean of the graduate program that he is applying for verifying the his graduate school application is currently being considered.

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