The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Senators uphold ruling, Shane unable to run

Scott Englert | Thursday, January 28, 2010

 Senators upheld the election commission’s ruling that Cameron Shane, president of the Club Coordination Council, will be unable to run in the Student Body election at their meeting Wednesday.

The controversy began last Friday when Shane submitted his election petition at 12:45 p.m., 45 minutes after the constitutional deadline. At that time, Marcelo Perez, vice-president of elections of the judicial council, ruled Shane ineligible to run in the election. Shane understands Perez’s decision and holds no hard feelings.
“I appreciate what Marcelo’s done,” Shane said. “He’s doing his job as he should.”
Due to the elapsed time, Shane  filed a petition to the election committee.  As a result, he presented his case to the Student Senate.  While admitting responsibility for his mistake, Shane believed he still deserved a chance to run in the election.
“Ignorance of a law is not a defense to it,” Shane said.  “I would like to ask you to overturn the decision. I accept the responsibility … 45 minutes is a small price to pay … at the end of the day it’s the student body’s choice to decide who they want to elect.”
Several senators agreed with Shane.
 “We’re not negatively affecting the other candidates,” Pasquerilla West senator Megan Carey said. “We’re giving them another option. I recommend we impose gradual reductions in campaign funds. In a very short amount of time he was able to get 700 people behind his campaign.”
Pangborn senator Susan Esquivel also supported Shane, commenting on the fluidity of the Constitution.
“There has already been a precedent that we don’t follow the Constitution,” Esquivel said.
Many senators, however, believed that Perez was correct in his initial ruling. Farley senator  Elise Jordan was adamant in upholding justice in the student body race.
“We’re not just allowing him to run. We’re allowing him to compete against the other candidates. I’m surprised we’re even hearing this. We took an oath to uphold the Constitution,” Jordan said.
Siegfried senator Zach Maxwell agreed.
 “You said this isn’t an issue of fairness … but is it fair to the other candidates?” Maxwell asked while questioning Shane. “Don’t you think that taking the responsibility of the President of the Student Body, you would take the responsibility to turn in the petition? 
In the final vote, only eight senators voted to overturn Perez’s ruling. Seventeen senators voted against.  
Carroll senator Nick Ruof said he had the utmost respect for Shane and the integrity he displayed in his presenting his case. However, this does not take from the fact that an overturn of the ruling is simply unfair to the other candidates.
“If he gets one vote, it’s negatively affecting someone else,” Ruof said.