SGA commission refutes
By Tim Williams
Senior Staff Writer
In responses issued Tuesday and Wednesday,
the Student Government Association's Election Commission offered no remedies
and directed some blametoward current SGA members for Election Code violation
complaints filed by independent SGA presidential candidate Fabian Sifuentes.
The two-man commissiondefended election calendar delays that communication
junior Sifuentes said aided the incumbent Student Voice Party.
Sifuentes charged in his first complaint
that no one in the Student Government Association office knew last Friday
where and at what time the candidate seminar
would be held.
"By not informing candidates of the mandatory
candidate seminar in writing as required, opponents to the incumbent party
could be disqualified from their
prospective races because of their absence,"
Time conflicts last week kept election
commissioners and the UH administration from meeting to decide a definite
time and place to hold the candidate seminar,
commissioners John Martinez and Maceo
Smedley wrote in their signed response.
"No single candidate was at an advantage,
as all candidates were made aware of the time and place around the same
time on Monday," the response said.
Candidates running on tickets needed only
to send a party representative to the seminar in order to remain qualified.
Sifuentes also charged that commissioners
violated the Election Code when they scrapped plans to locate a polling
place in student parking lot 15D near
After speaking with individuals in the
Cougar 1Card office and administrators, commissioners said, they determined
it would be too costly to place a poll in the lot.
"It is our view that when changing the
locations from those of last year, the (SGA) Senate did not take into account
the unfeasibility of having a Cougar 1Card reader
at this location," the response said.
Since they have no authority to name a
substitute for the polling place location, commissioners said the Phillip
Guthrie Hoffman Hall polling place should be
adequate to serve students.
Other polling locations on campus are the
Bauer College of Business, the University Center, the Cullen College of
Engineering and the Moody Towers and
Quadrangle residence halls.
Sifuentes also charged that SGA President
James Robertson violated the Election Code when he failed to appoint a
third election commission member.
Citing the Election Code, commissioners
said they were powerless to appoint a third member and that two would constitute
a quorum until another person is put
in place by the SGA senate.
In other election news, UH administrators
and the Election Commission concluded their academic and disciplinary review
of this year's candidates, finding that
perhaps as many as six students will be
unable to run. Although it is labeled the official ballot, some chance
remains that the candidates' list released Wednesday
could change upon student appeal.
Students can be disqualified from running
because of a low grade point average, for failing to run in the appropriate
college or for not meeting other UH academic
and disciplinary standards.
Most notably, the Student Vision Party's
vice-presidential candidate Josh Jackson was removed, leaving Student Voice's
Jon Quintanilla to run unopposed for the
"I suspect it's something to do with my
fee bill not being completely paid," said Jackson, a junior university
studies major. "I'm looking into the matter."
He hopes to get back on the ballot, he
Mathematics junior Jarrod Portelance's
removal leaves computer science freshman Ivan Yagolikov to run unopposed
for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics
senate seat 3. Yagolikov is fielded by
University studies sophomore Josh Paige's
removal and biology sophomore Ashley Hallene's replacement of political
science junior Candice Idlebird in the race
for NSM seat 2 means that now-unopposed
Student Vision candidates could garner two at-large senate seats.
Psychology junior Victoria Sobolevsky's
removal leaves biology junior Samnang Koy in position to gain NSM senate
seat 1 for Student Voice.
As it stands, the incumbent Student Voice
will garner 10 SGA seats unopposed while Student Vision gets three without
Psychology sophomore Michelle Prejean was
removed from the Student Voice candidate list because the party fielded
two candidates to run for one Honors
College senate seat.
Previously unreported candidates emerged
as well. Communication junior Kalyn Kimmer will run for a College of Liberal
Arts and Social Sciences senate seat on
the Student Voice ticket, and computer
science sophomore Richard Truong will run for a NSM senate seat on the
Student Vision ticket.