Despite the fact that Frank Harrison and his running mate Faran Abbasi have been named as the incoming student body president and vice president, respectively, a trial scheduled for tonight in the Student Government Supreme Court could erase this election.
The trial is in regard to a complaint filed by former SG senator Jennifer Wilson, who claims the Election Rules Commission has not been properly performing its duties throughout this election cycle. More specifically, she claims the ERC has been biased in favor of the Harrison/Abbasi ticket.
The ERC is responsible for managing all aspects of the student body elections, from certifying candidates to assessing points for campaign rule violations.
If the Court recalls the election, it would be as if all aspects of the election never happened. Everything would start over, all candidates would have to reapply, and campaigning would have to start over.
Wilson has accused the ERC of not properly investigating grievances filed against the Harrison/Abbasi ticket for campaign violations. In her memo to the Court requesting the trial, Wilson also requested the Harrison/Abbasi ticket be disqualified.
Harrison said he feels that, according to SG statutes, the Court has no authority to hold tonight’s trial and the issue in question does not fall into the Court’s jurisdiction. He also said that he feels the complaints in general have no merit.
“I think it is a groundless attempt to get our ticket disqualified,” Harrison said.
Student body Vice President Sameer Ahmed expressed concern about the possibility of recalling the election.
“For there to be another election process is absolutely ridiculous,” Ahmed said. “Every candidate – you can ask any one of them: They are broke, and they are tired, and the University goes through enough every election cycle.”
The Harrison/Abbasi ticket has been assessed eight points by the ERC for various campaign violations. A ticket is disqualified if it reaches 10 points.
The Court will also be holding a separate trial tonight regarding points assessed to the Harrison/Abbasi ticket. They are appealing seven of the eight points assessed to their during the campaign.
Despite having already won the election, in which case the points no longer count toward possible disqualification, Harrison said there is a “small chance” he and Abbasi would drop the appeals.
“As of right now we’re still going to court,” Harrison said. “We don’t feel (the points) were justified.”
Four of the points in question were assessed because Harrison’s grandparents were discovered campaigning for him in the Library during last week’s primary elections.
The Harrison/Abbasi ticket was assessed two points because the grandparents were actively campaigning while not being part of the ticket’s registered campaign staff. The two other points were assessed because campaigning inside the Library is prohibited.
Harrison has said on multiple occasions he did not tell his grandparents to campaign for him and that they are out of his control.
The other three points being appealed were assessed by the ERC because Harrison failed to turn in the proper paperwork in time regarding a campaign visit to a meeting of the Ethos party. All candidates have to fill out certain documents before visiting any student organization.
The Harrison/Abbasi ticket has already appealed the other point, and the Court upheld the assessment. That point was assessed by the ERC because of large signs put up on campus before that type of campaigning was allowed.
The trial regarding the Harrison/Abbasi ticket’s point appeals will be heard at 8 p.m. in room 101 of the Phyllis P. Marshall Center. The trial regarding the possible election recall will follow it and is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. in the same room.