Monday, April 1, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 120


SGA election awaits Hearing Board ruling

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

Though results of the 2002 Student Government Association election were announced Thursday, votes cannot be certified until the
University Hearing Board makes a decision on appeals filed by independent presidential candidate Fabian Sifuentes.

Hoang Nguyen/The Daily Cougar

Independent candidate for Student Government Association president Fabian Sifuentes, center, watches as election results are
announced Thursday in the World Affairs Lounge of the University Center Underground.

The Hearing Board, which is scheduled to meet Tuesday, is comprised of five students appointed by SGA, two faculty members
appointed by the Faculty Senate and two staff members from the Staff Council. It hears and decides on grievances from members of
the UH community.

The Student Voice Party ran away with the election, as presidential candidate Dawona Miller garnered 77 percent of the vote,
compared to Student Vision presidential candidate Will Dres' 15 percent and Sifuentes' 8 percent. It was the second consecutive
landslide win for the party, which aside from winning the race for vice president and student regent also took 20 of 24 senate seats.

The shortened election season saw less than 1,300 students turn out to vote, an almost 50 percent drop from the 2,611 votes cast
in the 2001 election.

An appeal of decisions by the Election Commission would continue until all UH administrative measures had been exhausted,
Sifuentes said shortly following the announcement of results. On Friday, he filed three new complaints with the commission.

Among the new complaints, Sifuentes charged the Student Voice Party disobeyed the commission's earlier ruling that it cease
campaigning at the University Center and that "the fair election process had been compromised by Dawona Miller and the Student
Voice Party by hanging a banner in an area that (had) already been designated by the Commission and Code as a polling location."

In all three complaints, Sifuentes asked that Miller and the Student Voice Party be disqualified and the election not be certified.

Though an official response will not be released until today, Election Commissioner John Martinez didn't foresee any further
disciplinary actions against the Student Voice Party.

"We already punished them for the banners," Martinez said. "We're not going to disqualify them."

Though the certification of votes is pending, Miller and the rest of the coming 39th administration could be sworn in as early as

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