The Roman-Leverett student body presidential campaign will be allowed to remain on the ballot following a decision by the Student Governing Association Student Tribunal.
“After reviewing the Elections Code, the Student Tribunal found that there was not sufficient evidence to find the candidates in violation,” the tribunal wrote in its decision. “As such, the Student Tribunal overturned the decision to remove the Roman/Leverett campaign from the ballot. They are reinstated as a president/vice president ticket for the elections.”
Paloma Roman, senior in athletic training, and running mate Michael Leverett’s campaign had been disqualified Monday morning after a complaint was filed against their campaign by Stephen Kucera, graduate student in accounting and SGA student support director.
Corbin Sedlacek, SGA elections commissioner, originally found the campaign to be in violation of elections rules and subsequently disqualified the campaign. Roman and Leverett appealed the decision, and the case was brought before the Student Tribunal on the grounds that the “original punishment was too harsh,” and new evidence was also brought before the tribunal.
— Roman Leverett ‘18 (@romanleverett18) March 6, 2018
“I think that just goes to show how difficult it can be to be an outsider and try to run a presidential campaign,” Roman said in a video announcement of the decision early Tuesday morning.
In its decision made hours before the scheduled start of the general elections at noon Tuesday, the tribunal recommended to delay the start of the student body presidential elections until noon Thursday. Elections for all other positions will commence as scheduled.
“The reasoning for this recommendation is that the Roman/Leverett campaign was publicly acknowledged as disqualified,” the tribunal wrote in its ruling. “As such, we believe the student body deserves ample time to acknowledge that the Roman/Leverett campaign has been reinstated to allow for a fair elections process. Ultimately, it is the decision of the Elections Commissioner to set the schedule for elections.”
Sedlacek did not immediately return a call Monday morning, but an email from SGA adviser Bill Harlan to SGA and university administration indicated that Sedlacek had agreed to follow the tribunal’s recommendation.
On Monday evening, Sedlacek held a hearing for a complaint, which was also filed by Kucera, against Jordan Kiehl and Lacy Pitts’ campaign. The campaign was found to have “failed to submit proper documentation for expenses incurred,” but given the fact that they still included the costs in their expense reports, the campaign was not sanctioned, as long as it submits an accurate and updated expense report by 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sedlacek said in the ruling.
The Collegian will update this story as it develops.