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Brandon Butler

bbutler@gwhatchet.com
Thursday, March 1, 2007 12:08 p.m.

Voting continues

The Student Court has lifted an injunction placed on voting in the runoff election and this morning the polls opened regularly.

At about 1:30 a.m. Student Court chief judge junior Ryan Sullivan placed an injunction on the ballots opening Thursday morning until the members of the Joint Elections Committee complied with all aspects of their charter which outlines the rules for the election.

In specific contention Thursday morning was the JEC’s alleged failure to use credentials while on the job.

SA Sen. Brandon Sherr (CCAS-G) brought the complaint to the court’s attention. He wrote in an e-mail early Thursday morning:

“…while it may not be the most important section of the Charter, the Joint Elections Committee cannot ever be allowed to ignore the law. To do so would be hypocritical to the function of the Joint Elections Committee. How can the Joint Elections Committee hold candidates accountable to the rules when it does not hold itself accountable to those same rules?”

Sullivan said the injunction was lifted about an hour after he installed it. Sherr also said in his e-mail that this may not have been the only blunder by the JEC.

“The Joint Elections Committee has acted with questionable regard for the law in many instances during this election. It has exceeded its authority, disregarded the legislative intent of the Senate, and assumed unlawful discretion. Not until this complaint, however, has any action of the Committee amounted to such a blatant and deliberate violation of the law,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Thursday is the last ay of voting and a winner for SA President and Executive Vice President are expected to be announced tonight. Stay tuned to gwhatchet.com and the SA Blog for continuing coverage.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007 4:26 a.m.

ELECTION HALTED

Early Thursday morning Student Court chief judge junior Ryan Sullivan issued an injunction on the run-off election. Voting locations will be CLOSED on Thursday until Sullivan issues a release of the injunction.

The injunction came after SA Sen. Brandon Sherr (CCAS-G) filed a complaint against the Joint Elections Committee- which oversees the elections- for allegedly violating an aspect of their charter which requires members to wear credentials during the election.

“The Joint Elections Committee has acted with questionable regard for the law in many instances during this election. It has exceeded its authority, disregarded the legislative intent of the Senate, and assumed unlawful discretion. Not until this complaint, however, has any action of the Committee amounted to such a blatant and deliberate violation of the law,” Sherr wrote in an e-mail early Thursday morning after Sullivan issued the injunction.

He continued: “…while it may not be the most important section of the Charter, the Joint Elections Committee cannot ever be allowed to ignore the law. To do so would be hypocritical to the function of the Joint Elections Committee. How can the Joint Elections Committee hold candidates accountable to the rules when it does not hold itself accountable to those same rules?”

Sullivan states in his e-mail that he will reopen the voting once he is assured that the JEC is operating in full compliance with the Charter.

Stay tuned to the Hatchet Blog for continuing details.

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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007 12:48 a.m.

Abanto facing a violation

Marc Abanto is facing a potentially damaging campaign violation in his candidacy for the SA Presidency.

According to Joint Elections Committee investigator Jeff Goodman, a senior, the JEC will hold a hearing to decide if Abanto will be charged with a violation on Sunday night. On Wednesday night the JEC found probable cause on the violation of threatening violence against another candidate, Goodman said.

Abanto said he would not comment on the allegation of a violation until he receives official notification from the JEC that probable cause has been found. A hearing will be held on Sunday to determine if Abanto will be charged with the violation of the JEC charter.

Goodman said the maximum penalty for the violation is disqualification from the election.

“The allegation is that one of Marc’s authorized agents on postering day (which was last Friday) while standing close to Marc threatened to punch another candidate if that candidate hung a poster in a specific location,” Goodman said.

Goodman said no physical altercation took place.

The JEC will hold a hearing on Sunday in which Goodman will present the prosecution’s side of the violation against Abanto and Abanto will have an opportunity to defend himself against the violation. Then, the JEC will issue a ruling either charging Abanto with the violation and issuing a penalty or dropping the case.

Thursday is the last day of voting for the SA, MCGB and PB general election. The Hatchet expects official results to be released by the JEC late Thursday night or early Friday morning, stay tuned to www.gwhatchet.com and the SA Blog for continuing updates and official election results.

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Friday, Feb. 16, 2007 4:37 p.m.

Election Notes

Postering

SA postering went off today without a hitch. GW’s equivalent of the running of the bulls had a dampened attendance presumably because of the cold weather, but nonetheless dozens of candidates and supporters sprinted across H St. at the strike of 7 a.m. to grab the prime real estate for campaign posters. Stay tuned for a full article in Tuesday’s issue of The Hatchet.

Also, Tuesday will be the annual SA Election guide in which profiles of SA and EVP candidates will be published and some other articles related to this election season. On the minds of many SA candidates is also the coveted Hatchet endorsement, which the opinions section will also post in Tuesday’s issue.

Violations


According to Joint
Elections Committee investigator Jeff Goodman, a senior, the JEC found probable cause on about 35 to 40 of the approximately 50 violations that have been filed in this election season.

If a violation is filed then the JEC will have a closed-door hearing to decide if there is probable cause to charge a candidate with a violation. If probable cause if found and the candidate is charged then a trial will take place in which the defendant (the candidate) has an opportunity to present his or her side of the story. Then the JEC makes a ruling to decide if the candidate will be charged with the violation. If a candidate is charged with more than six violations, then they will be removed from the ballot.

JEC hearings for the violations have not yet been announced. Stay tuned to the SA Blog for constant election updates.

And if you missed the SA postering this morning, Hatchet columnist Sam Salkin caught it on tape.

Sam Salkin Youtube SA Postering video

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Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007 2:03 a.m.

Jayadeva and Rozenberg enter Prez, EVP races

Junior Vikas Jayadeva told the Hatchet Tuesday night that he will be seeking the office the Student Association President. He will be running with executive vice president candidate junior Elliot Rozenberg, also a junior.

Jayadeva, who is commonly referred to as Vik, is a former SA Senator and member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Jayadeva spent last semester studying abroad in Rome but decided upon his return he would seek the SA’s highest office.

“I’m definitely excited about this,” Jayadeva said in an interview Tuesday night. “I’m looking forward to the entire process and the election. I’m not going to stress myself out on it, but it is exciting.”

If elected Jayadeva said a major initiative would be to change the University’s Health and Safety inspections. The inspections are performed at random times throughout the year in which University or building management staff enter students rooms to inspect the life safety equipment and to ensure no forbidden items are in the room. Upon finding a prohibited item, such as candles or a halogen lamp, they are confiscated. Jayadeva said he would work to give students are opportunity to claim their items back.

Jayadeva said he has a necessary mix of SA experience and outsider perspective to be SA President.

“I’m a student first, a college student,” Jayadeva said. “I don’t plan my life around being SA President, but I have been involved in the SA as well as other things on campus, so that’s my draw.”

Jayadeva will be running with Rozenberg, an SA Presidential candidate from last year, and a team of 7-10 other SA senator hopefuls. He said his “team” does not yet have a name.

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Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007 7:19 p.m.

Adding Andrew

A year ago former editor in chief Michael Barnett created the Hatchet blogs and launched the SA Blog to supplement our Student Association news and analysis coverage. Today the SA Blog welcomes a new regular contributor and has set up a future to continue its legacy.

Andrew has been one of The Hatchet’s most trusted senior staff writers this year covering campus news and the Student Association and recently he has been working hard to post new content on the blog about the upcoming SA elections. Right before this important season for the SA seemed like a perfect time to introduce the new tag-team duo for the Blog: Butler and Ramonas.

Andrew and I will both continue to make relevant posts on SA news, elections, analysis and the inner workings of how we decide which articles are written and in what way. Andrew is a fine writer and will be an excellent addition to this blog.

So, Andrew, welcome aboard!

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Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006 2:45 p.m.

Committee to examine SA effectiveness

Student Association President Lamar Thorpe has established a committee to examine the effectiveness of the organization.

In a press release sent yesterday by Thorpe’s new Vice President of Public Affairs Emily Metz, the three-person committee was announced.

“After much consideration on the matter, President Thorpe decided that the Student Association, despite how qualified its members, must improve its image within the student body and the administration, and would like an objective body to evaluate how best to accomplish this,” the press release said.

The press release emphasized that this is “in no way an attack” on the current Sa leadership.

Thorpe has plans to deliver a state of the SA address sometime during the second semester in which the SA President traditionally outlines accomplishments achieved and future goals for the SA. The press release said the three person committee will meet over winter break.

Attached find the press release. Stay tuned to the Sa Blog for continuing coverage on this committee and all other SA News.

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Monday, Nov. 13, 2006 3:38 a.m.

SA Op-ed

I don’t give my opinion, but Kyle Spector is never afraid to share his.

Check out his op-ed in today’s issue here.

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Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 1:50 a.m.

Election season almost upon us

The Student Association Senate hopes to finalize the rules that will govern this year’s election by passing a Joint Elections Committee Charter in the near future. While election rules are not yet finalized, some people are already talking about who’s running.

The Charter will set forth rules governing slates, how candidates fund their campaigns and how the SA, Marvin Center Governing Board and Program Board will work with each other and hold elections.

The elections are a long ways away, but in the eyes of some people in the SA, this work can never be done too soon. And while the election will not take place until at least March or April, many people in the SA have already begun talking about who will run this year.

Some people ask me my thoughts, who do I think will run. Some people ask me to write about who I think will run. But I can’t do that. I will only write that someone is running if they have told me so. I don’t report rumors, I report facts.

With that said, if anyone announces they are running then we would consider giving it some coverage. Until we have confirmation that people are running, we will not report names or possible candidates.

So if you’re running an you want to announce it, what better place to break the news of your upcoming campaign in the SA, MCGB or PB than on the SA Blog? Post a comment or write us an e-mail. Keep us updated.

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Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006 12:40 a.m.

Senate Meeting ends early

The Student Association Senate will hold a special session Tuesday to complete business left unfinished after the senate lost quorum at this week’s meeting.

At 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, the senate did not have two-thirds of its voting members present- the minimum required to conduct business and for the meeting to go on. The majority of the senators left following the passing of the “GW Reads” resolution and the senate was unable to complete the sections of “Old Business” and “New Business” on the agenda. Several senators including sophomores Vishal Aswani (SEAS-U) and Kevin Kozlowski (ESIA-U) said they were disappointed the meeting ended early.

“Although the failure to reach quorum was disappointing, it shouldn’t overshadow the work that the senate has done so for this year,” Aswani said.

According to Aswani, the senate will meet at the special session to complete debate and vote on Aswani’s “Old Business” bill to “hasten the referral process of all legislation through the SA senate” and consider the “New Business” section from the past senate meeting’s agenda.

The senate will also screen and vote on the nine freshman senate applicants forwarded by the Rules Committee and screen the one applicant for the vacant SEAS-G seat, Aswani said.

Stay tuned to the SA blog for continuing coverage of SA news throughout the year.

-Andrew Ramonas

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