URC election nullified in lengthy meet

Monday, April 14, 2008

Correction appended.

The Undergraduate Council of Students agreed to hold a revote to fill a seat on the University Resources Council at a three-and-a-half hour general body meeting Wednesday evening.

After extensive debate, the council voted to hold a second election to fill the seat on the University’s budget committee. After the first election received only 300 votes and neither of the two candidates, Kieran Fitzgerald ’10 and Chaney Harrison ’11, received 50 percent of the vote. The problems were apparently due to difficulty voting on MyCourses, Appointments Chair Ryan Lester ’11 announced. Fitzgerald won the first election by a margin of about 10 votes, Lester said.

Debate on the issue began when Harrison appealed the election results to the council, claiming the election was illegitimate because it wasn’t publicized. Harrison charged the council with violating their code of operations in holding the election, though Drew Madden ’10, student activities chair and parliamentarian pro tempore, ruled that there was no violation.

Opinions on the council ranged from restarting the election process completely to accepting the election results. “We didn’t even notify every member of UCS prior to the election going live,” said Madden, who supported a second vote. “I think at this point this has been so screwed up – I’ll say screwed up – that we just need to restart it.”

Academic and Administrative Affairs Chair Rakim Brooks ’09 said that UCS has not nullified election results in recent memory. “There seems to be no reason to actually nullify this election other than the whims of this council,” he said.

After several motions, objections, tabled motions, straw polls and failed motions to end debate, the motion to hold a runoff election passed with 12 yes votes, six no votes and no abstentions. The stress and fatigue of nearly four hours of debate caused two members to begin crying once it ended.

President Michael Glassman ’09 said the meeting reflected a “fair question” between approving results that are “technically correct” and holding a more publicized election.

UCS also passed a resolution asking the University to allow kegs at Class F parties, sponsored by At-Large Representative and vice presidential candidate Michael MacCombie ’11 and Gregory Anderson ’10, who is not on UCS.

MacCombie said he plans to continue to work on the resolution until he receives a response from the University.

“Either I’m going to see it through, or I want to know what’s wrong with it,” he said.

UCS also approved the Brown Progress Initiative and Brown Free Thought for Category I status and Colombianos Unidos en Brown for Category II status.

An article in Thursday’s Herald (“URC election nullified in lengthy meet,” April 10) incorrectly stated that Colombianos Unidos en Brown was granted Category I status. In fact, the group, which already had Category I status, was granted Category II status. The article’s headline was also inaccurate. The Undergraduate Council of Students voted to re-do the election for the University Resources Council but did not nullify its results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *