ASCSU appeal attempts to disqualify Pineda Soracá’s presidency

Erin Douglas

An appeal that could disqualify the 2016-2017 Associated Students of Colorado State University President Elect Daniela Pineda Soracá and Vice President Elect Mike Lensky was filed with the ASCSU Supreme Court Thursday.

Current President Jason Sydoriak and Vice President Phoenix Dugger filed an appeal to ask the court if Pineda Soracá could constitutionally appoint a new running mate after her first was determined ineligible. Due to a grade point average requirement, Tim Curry was replaced with the vice president elect Mike Lensky after the campaign season had begun. Though the court made a decision regarding Curry’s ineligibility, it did not make a decision regarding whether or not Pineda Soracá’s campaign would still be considered a single ticket. 

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“It was decided that her former vice presidential candidate was ineligible, but (the decision) did not go as far as to make a decision on whether or not she could fill that vacancy,” Sydoriak wrote in an e-mail to the Collegian.

Mike Lensky became Pineda Soracá’s running mate after the “Friday before spring break” deadline for single ticket campaign applications. In addition, according to ASCSU Constitutional election criteria, the candidates must have attended an orientation session by the deadline.

Daniela Pineda Soraca reacts after winning the ASCSU presidential election. (Photo by Abbie Parr)

According to the appeal, Mike Lensky does not meet these two requirements since Pineda Soracá chose him as a running mate after the deadline.

“He should be disqualified from the election and removed as Vice President Elect,” stated the appeal. “The disqualification of Tim Curry on one missing criteria is precedent for this.”

Before choosing Lensky as a running mate, Pineda Soracá sought an opinion from the ASCSU campaign elections manager. In an interview with the Collegian in March, Pineda Soracá and Lensky said they did not have any concerns about the constitutionality of the change, and said the ASCSU elections committee had verified it.

According to the appeal, there is “no guidance” on what happens if a candidate drops from a single ticket.

“If single tickets are allowed to pick up individuals during election season, then there is an unfair advantage against write-in campaigns and perhaps other official campaigns,” stated the appeal.

Sydoriak said he filed the appeal because it may set an unwanted precedent.

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Steven Losolla (left) and Ashley Higgins (right) react to the election results Wednesday night. Higgins ran for ASCSU president. (Photo by Abbie Parr.)

“Despite a well-fought election season, the Pineda Soracá-Lensky campaign did not abide by the rules within this institution,” Sydoriak wrote. “Precedents should not be established by giving individuals exceptions and the benefit of the doubt because they did not give enough time to prepare for an election by reading the Constitution and the election code.”

Sydoriak said he did not file the appeal on behalf of the ASCSU Deputy Chief of Staff, Ashley Higgins, who ran against Pineda Soracá, nor has the Higgins campaign been notified of the action.

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“This is the highest position within ASCSU and student representation on campus and it shall hold a high standard,” Sydoriak wrote. “This action weighs heavily on my heart, but the institution holds priority over us all.”

Collegian ASCSU reporter Erin Douglas can be reached at news@collegian.com or on twitter @erinmdouglas23.