Student votes for the student body president did not count last week, as the Weber State University Student Association Supreme Court met and determined that the student body presidential elections will be recalled. The recall election will be held the week of March 18, and polls will open early Tuesday morning and close Wednesday night.
On Friday night, at the conclusion of Weber’s Got Talent, Sarah Kortkamp, the associate justice of the WSUSA Supreme Court, announced the court’s decision. She said the supreme court plays a special role in the elections as the impartial third party that regulates the elections process.
“It came to our attention that the process of running the elections has been done incorrectly this year,” Kortkamp announced. “The conclusion that we came to, that the only way to be sure that was fair to everybody, would be to recall the elections in which the candidates were most affected by the decisions made by the Elections Committee.”
The recall comes about as the result of a written petition being brought to the WSUSA Supreme Court challenging the validity of the Elections Committee. With a 2-0 vote, the court determined that the Elections Committee, as constituted for the duration of this week’s election, was invalid, and that co-chairs Kimberly Tribe and Matthew Glover must appoint at least four new members.
The decision the court released referenced the WSUSA bylaws, in particular Title V, Section C: “The Elections Committee shall consist of at least four students in addition to the Chair who are not seeking candidacy for any elected office or supporting a candidate. The Elections Chair shall be responsible for appointing additional membership to the Elections Committee.”
Since the Elections Committee consisted of only two members, as opposed to the requisite five members, the court came to its decision. The elections recall will only apply to the races in which decisions the Elections Committee made had a significant impact, and so, at this time, the recall will only affect the student body presidential election. Students running for the presidency must clean up all campaign material and signage by noon on Saturday, and all future campaigning must be passive.
All of the vice president positions were announced as planned during the Weber’s Got Talent show and election party. The vice president positions have been filled as listed: Tessa Diamond for leadership vice president, Lola Moli for diversity vice president, Courtney Ellis for programming vice president, Brady Harris for legislative vice president and Alexis Marquez as Davis campus vice president.
According to the court’s ruling, Friday has been the first time the validity of the Elections Committee has ever been challenged. The newly constituted Elections Committee will fall under the direction and supervision of Allison Dunn, the director of Student Involvement and Leadership.
“I cannot emphasize enough how much time went into this decision,” Dunn said. “This was a historic moment. This has never happened in Weber history before.”
Students are encouraged to vote again on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the new WSU student body president will be announced on Thursday.
“These students really care about the organization,” Dunn said. “They really care about Weber, and we love their passion and I love their passion for it. We are going to make the best of a not-best situation. Nobody wanted this to come out as the end result, so we are going to make the best out of it. I am cautiously optimistic.”
Tiara Collins, president of the Delta Chi Nu sorority, said it was hard enough to get students to vote in the first place, and that the turnout of voters the second time will probably be even less.
“I feel like everybody ran a good campaign this week, so it just sucks for all of the people who ran to have put so much money into it and have it be a complete waste,” Collins said. “The good majority of people who voted were basically talked into voting. We basically had to inform them why it was important for them to vote and things like that.”