The Supreme Court for the Associated Students of Colorado State University held an open hearing today to discuss an appeal made regarding the legitimacy of ASCSU President Elect Daniela Pineda Soracá’s campaign. No decision was made at this time, and Chief Justice Nick Danemiller declined to set a date at which a decision would be made.
Current ASCSU President Jason Sydoriak filed an appeal challenging the elections process on April 7. According to the appeal, Pineda Soracá’s campaign did not meet the requirements to be considered a single ticket during the campaign for the ASCSU presidency.
The appeal disputes the elections committee’s decision at the time to verbally communicate to Pineda Soracá that she was allowed to appoint a new running mate after her first running mate was determined ineligible for the position.
“Daniela (Pineda Soracá) could have ran as a single ticket, but by adding Mike (Lensky) to her ticket, it created a new single ticket,” Sydoriak said.
Throughout the elections process, the Pineda Soracá campaign was treated as a single ticket, meaning Pineda Soracá and new running mate Mike Lensky were placed on the ballot as official candidates.
“That was an incorrect decision in my opinion,” Sydoriak said. “…This ticket should have been disqualified because it had an ineligible name (Mike Lensky) that could have contributed to votes. I think a mistake was made during this process.”
The question of eligibility is in reference to the elections code and the ASCSU constitution, which require single ticket campaigns to register and complete orientation by the Friday before spring break. Vice President Elect Mike Lensky did not attend orientation because at the time, Tim Curry had not yet been determined ineligible. Curry and Pineda Soracá were present for orientation.
However, due to a medical emergency, the orientation process was not completed by the 4 p.m. deadline for either campaign, Pineda Soracá said during the meeting. Ashley Higgins, the only presidential candidate opposing Pineda Soracá, was not present for the orientation process and instead completed orientation by phone. Higgins’ running mate, Steven Losolla, was present for orientation.
“I messaged the elections manager asking if I should continue the hunt for a new vice president,” Pineda Soracá said. “I got a confirmation from elections manager stating that we were confirmed to run. From there, I put trust in the institution that I was getting correct information.”
Sydoriak said he filed the appeal to clarify in the elections process and challenge the precedent that is set by allowing the Pineda Soraca campaign to add a new vice president after the single ticket deadline.
“What I don’t understand about the appeal is that Sydoriak says he upholds institutions, but no appeal was made (during the elections process),” Pineda Soracá said in response to Sydoriak during the meeting. “I would have been more than happy to run by myself, but that was not communicated to me.”
Pineda Soracá’s campaign won the ASCSU election by 22 votes on April 6. About 12 percent of the student body voted during the election, a voter turnout decrease of 4 percent compared to last year.
Collegian reporter Erin Douglas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @erinmdouglas23.