According to a decision by the Associated Students of Colorado State University Supreme Court, both campaigns for the ASCSU presidency were in violation of the ASCSU Constitution throughout the election process. However, the court will allow President-Elect Pineda Soracá and Vice President Elect Mike Lensky to assume office.
The decision is in response to an appeal filed by current ASCSU President Jason Sydoriak.
Current Deputy Chief of Staff Ashley Higgins and running mate Steven Losolla ran against Pineda Soracá as the only opposition. In a close race with low voter turn out, Pineda Soracá narrowly won the presidency by 22 votes.
Syroriak filed the appeal two days after the election, on the grounds that Pineda Soracá should not be considered a single ticket, and therefore should not have been placed as a name on the ballot.
According to the court’s decision today, a single ticket campaign must meet the following criteria:
- The candidate’s application must have been received by the Elections Manager no later than 3 p.m. on the Friday of the week prior to Spring Break.
- The candidate must have attended an orientation session by 4 p.m. on the Friday immediately prior to Spring Break.
- The candidate must meet the eligibility requirements stated in Article VII, Section 703 of the ASCSU Constitution.
Sydoriak argued that the Pineda Soracá campaign did not meet the orientation deadline or the application deadline, because Pineda Soracá picked up a new running mate after both. Pineda Soracá’s first running mate was deemed ineligible due to a grade point average requirement, so the campaign added Lensky to the ticket. During the meeting with the court, Pineda Soracá said that members of the elections committee informed her that she was allowed to add a new running mate.
However, the court decided that the Higgins campaign was also in violation of single ticket procedure, because, due to a medical emergency, neither campaign completed orientation by the 4 p.m. Friday deadline.
“Despite what some might describe as extenuating circumstances, the Court found no reason why orientation sessions could not have been held earlier in the week or even semester,” the court decision stated.
Though both campaigns were ruled ineligible today, the court did not assign fault to any individual, rather the court found “systematic negligence…by ASCSU as a whole.”
“With both campaigns operating under the same neglect, neither side held an inherent advantage in the process,” the court decision stated.
The ASCSU Supreme court will allow Pineda Soracá and Lensky to take office as normal.
“We must validate the student’s vote, yielding to the collective voice of our constituents,” the court decision stated. “To disregard their input, their trust, or their financial support, would be a greater injustice than any elections violation.”
Collegian reporter Erin Douglas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @erinmdouglas23.