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Another vote for SOGS
By Paul-Mark Rendon
The Society of Graduate Students will be holding a presidential election again.
The call for another election was approved by SOGS council in a meeting Thursday, after Ritu Kothari, SOGS chief returning officer, reviewed the election procedures of the previous election.
A formal appeal of the election listing numerous alleged infractions was tabled last week by three SOGS members, after which time the status of the election was put under review.
Kothari said she came to the decision not because of the appeal but due to a procedural irregularity. "[The decision] was based on a motion to amend the constitution that did not follow procedure," she said.
The scrapped amendment, which rendered the election invalid, was one which allowed a president to run a second time for the same position. Since the amendment no longer applies, incumbent Kelly Barrowcliffe is ineligible to run in the upcoming vote, Kothari said.
As for the appeal, Kothari explained it was no longer an issue and added she was unsure of exactly when a new election would begin. "I have until the beginning of May to get someone in office," she said.
Susan McDonald, a PhD English student and winner of the first election, said she thought the decision to call another election was fair. "It was the best decision for SOGS because it serves the interests of graduate students as a whole," she said.
"I entirely uphold and support the CRO's decision, but it did nullify an election I had won," she said, adding she intends to run in the upcoming election.
Kelly Barrowcliffe, SOGS incumbent, said she was not happy with the outcome but would stand by Kothari's decision. "I was very disappointed. It undermines the work that I've done all year.
"At some level, I think I deserve an apology just because I've had to go through a really tough campaign," she said, adding she was still unsure of why the amendment allowing her to make a second run for president was thrown out.
Carolyn Stoyles, SOGS VP-student services and an initiator of the appeal, said there is still a chance the appeal may resurface. "It's all up to the CRO. She will call it," she said.
"It's pretty heated. The population is probably pretty fed up with this whole thing," Barrowcliffe said.