Kyle Froerer has been declared the winner of the Weber State University Student Association (WSUSA) Activities Vice President for 2015-16. The result was announced Monday by the WSUSA Supreme Court after a four-day controversy over the race against opponent Amina Khan.
The Elections Committee and Supreme Court met for two hours Monday afternoon to reconsider Froerer’s eligibility.
Khan was declared the winner of the race by three votes Friday night, but that result was overturned Saturday when the Election Committee discovered that Froerer was docked too many points for a grievance penalty. After a recount, Froerer won by 19 votes.
However, Khan immediately challenged Froerer’s eligibility to run for executive office. The student Supreme Court found Froerer ineligible and declared Khan the winner again because Froerer began his position last October. The WSUSA requires candidates serve in student government for two full semesters before running for an executive position.
On Sunday Froerer challenged that decision, and the student Supreme Court went back into session on Monday.
Froerer said he filed the appeal because he had more votes than Khan and was declared eligible to run before the campaigns began.
Khan said she believed there needed to be more care when counting the votes.
“It’s a big deal,” Khan said. “There can’t be carelessness or neglect on the situation. It’s not fun for any of us.”
During the week of elections, the Elections Committee penalized candidates Cash Knight, Gregory Woodfield and Froerer for distributing campaign materials under the doors of residents in Wasatch Hall. The penalty went from nothing to 48 votes to seven votes between Tuesday and Thursday.
In a miscalculation of votes taken against Froerer by Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Aaron Newman, Khan was announced as the winner of the election at Weber’s Got Talent on Friday evening.
Froerer then requested the committee go back and review the number of votes. Once the error was found and corrected, Froerer was 19 votes ahead making him the future vice president of activities.
After the decisions by the student Supreme Court declaring Froerer ineligible and then eligible again, Froerer was again declared winner of the vice president of activities.
The challenge to Froerer’s eligibility had to be filed before the election began on March 16 to be valid, current Student Body President Joe Favero said the student court found.
“Questions about eligibility have to occur before elections even begin,” he said.
Favero said that considering the previous confusion with the vote count and emotions over the weekend’s Supreme Court meeting to declare Froerer’s ineligibility, “Some of the rules were forgotten by the advisers and the Supreme Court.”
After the announcement of Froerer’s election, Khan said she still plans to be a part of WSUSA.
“After all of this, I know things are going to change, and I want to be a part of that change,” Khan said. “I will still be involved heavily.”
As the future activities vice president, Froerer said he plans to work on adaptive marketing for WSU events in the upcoming year.
“The problem is that students don’t even know about the events,” Froerer said. “I think that if they knew about them, they would come. It’s much more than just following us on Facebook.”
Froerer and the other elected WSUSA executive officers for 2015-16 are scheduled to be inaugurated on April 18.
For future elections held, Favero said that there will be a clarification of the rules stated for candidate eligibility.
Favero also said the Supreme Court and Newman plan to reach out to the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service at WSU to seek further expertise on political and election issues.
“Looking back on this weekend, of course it was regretful, but that isn’t unlike the real world,” Favero said. “That’s what we’re all truly hoping for in our time at Weber State is for real world education. So to expect perfection from any constitution or grievances is unrealistic.”