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Late SMC candidates rejected

Angela Saoud | Monday, January 24, 2005

After receiving word that they would not be allowed to run in the Saint Mary’s student body presidential and vice presidential elections Thursday night, junior Katherine Kelly and freshman Lauren McCalister appealed the decision Friday morning to the Elections Appeal Board, only to be turned down again.

The pair approached members of the Elections Committee last week after the tickets running had been finalized to see if they would be allowed to run. The Elections Committee met Thursday night and decided that because Kelly and McCalister had missed the deadline, they would not be allowed to do so.

The Committee did not use McCalister’s class year as a factor, despite the fact that the charter states any running-mate must be of a second-semester sophomore status or higher.

Elections Commissioner Anna Bauer said the decision was fair and is now final.

“The appeal was filed Friday morning, and the Elections Appeal Board met Friday afternoon,” Bauer said. “After meeting, the Elections Appeals Board voted to uphold the decision made by the Elections Committee. In accordance with the Student Government Association constitution, this decision cannot be appealed.”

The Elections Appeal Board members’ identities are kept confidential, and known only to Bauer, student body president Sarah Catherine White and their faculty advisor. Bauer said the board is made up of five members, one from each of the executive boards on campus.

And while they are disappointed that they cannot run in this election, neither Kelly nor McCalister plan to stop working with Board of Governance.

“I want to continue the work I’ve done with the Identity Forums including advocating for diversity training on campus and working with the new Women’s Resource Center,” Kelly said. “The BOG is made up of dedicated women students who amaze me, and I know it will continue that way.”

Additionally, Kelly said she plans to go out and encourage students to vote Tuesday for the best candidates for the job.

“I support both candidates because they are strong women, strong leaders,” Kelly said. “However, if 51 percent of the voters choose to abstain, there can be a new election held, and you just never know.”

But Bauer said the situation has brought to the surface some issues that will need to be looked at when reassessing the constitution after new leadership takes charge.

“Every year BOG appoints a Constitution Committee in order to review the current proceedings we have in place,” Bauer said. “Students are able to petition BOG to change current rules or statutes, and we can also bring our concerns to the table. I will take this to BOG and we will actively review it in order to see if amendments need to be made.”