Grad Student Council Election Draws Large Voter Turnout

April 5, 2012

At the end of one of the longest and most contentious elections in recent memory, current President Cammi N. Valdez, along with a slate of other incumbent candidates, maintained control of five of the six contested positions on the Graduate Student Council on Wednesday night.

Valdez beat Andrew J. Pope with a vote of 34-27 in a four-hour meeting that included accusations of breaches of election protocol and a debate over the role of the GSC in political debates on campus.

Over the past week, candidates have publicly raised concerns over the late submission of candidate statements by several of the incumbents.

In an email to the delegates from each department in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences—the group of eligible voters in Wednesday’s election—Valdez refuted these accusations.

“No candidate, incumbent or otherwise, has had an unfair advantage during these elections,” she wrote.

Amidst this controversy, the turnout at Wednesday’s meeting, at about 100 delegates, was nearly triple the usual at a GSC election.

At the meeting, the Election Committee—which had only been officially appointed earlier that night—took up the question of the eligibility of the candidates who had submitted their blurbs past the March 16 deadline. After the Election Committee presented the details of the submissions of each candidate, a general vote of the delegates decided not to disqualify the candidates in question.

But even with the questions of election protocol put to rest, the controversies of the night continued.

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