After an eventful end to this year’s campus election cycle, Interim Dean of Students Danielle McDonald made the final decision to reject the appeal from former Student Government (SG) Attorney General Alex Johnson regarding last semester’s expedited election.
McDonald supported the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out the expedited election results. As a result, there will be no change from the general election results.
Nicholas Russo, who originally filed the grievance against the ERC that led to the Court’s decision, said he supported McDonald’s decision not to overturn the court’s decision.
Johnson brought up three major issues in his appeal of the Court’s decision: a lack of reasoning, previous authorization and court bias.
McDonald asserted that the Court fulfilled its obligation to present an official opinion within five business days per SG statute, thus countering the accusation lack of reasoning presented by Johnson.
Johnson’s second point of appeal was on the grounds that the expedited election that began the controversy had been authorized previously. Johnson wrote that the Court came to a unanimous consensus that Joshua Smith, the initially affected party, was entitled to another election due to being left off the ballot for six hours.
As a result of the two elections many candidates lost out. Russo’s initial wining turnout of 274 votes in the general election fell to just 50 in the expedited election.
“What the Court failed to research was that SGATO (Student Government Advising, Training and Operations) actually is the only party which has the ability to create ballots,” Johnson wrote.
In her response, McDonald said the original Supreme Court decision does not have to influence new cases brought to the floor.
McDonald wrote the case was heard in order to discuss a statute, not the expedited election.
In the letter of appeal, Johnson wrote that he believed the Court to be biased in their decision-making, which was his third point.
In his appeal, Johnson claimed the unsupported decision revealed bias within the Court.
The former attorney general declined to comment on the matter.
In her closing remarks, McDonald wrote that she had no reason to believe there was a bias among the justices.
Russo expressed frustration with the appeal but also said that he was relieved to be able to move on from the issue.
“I’m just happy now to be senator and everything, and I’m just glad it’s all over,” he said.