Osborn/Donahey appeal legitimacy of runoff election
By LAURA ROMPF
Assistant News Editor
The committee to elect John Osborn and Mark Donahey will appeal the Judicial Council's final decision which declared Brian O'Donoghue and Brook Norton student body president and vice president for 2000-2001, according to a statement released Wednesday night by the committee to elect Osborn/Donahey.
The council decided in favor of O'Donoghue/Norton last Thursday after runoff challengers Hunt Hanover and John Micek's ticket was disqualified because of campaign violations. The vote tally for the runoff has not be made public.
"There wasn't a real runoff," said Donahey, whose ticket finished third in the runoff. "You can't have a runoff between one ticket, and because O'Donoghue did not receive 50-plus-one [percent of the vote] in the first election and the second election was null-and-void, technically the constitution still requires a runoff election."
The appeal to Student Senate states that O'Donoghue did not receive 50 percent of the vote in the primary election and therefore the constitution specifically outlines a runoff is required.
"The student body needs the opportunity to vote between two valid tickets," Donahey said. "The constitution of the Student Union specifies there should be a runoff between the two top tickets, and we happen to be one of those tickets [because the Hanover ticket was disqualified]."
"Our basic reasoning is to be true to the constitution and personally we were shocked that the Judicial Board did not bring up this issue," Donahey said. "We see why the decision was made hastily, however we feel the student opinion is being over looked."
Osborn agreed with Donahey.
"This is a matter of proper representation" Osborn said. "Last Thursday the ballots were cast, the votes were counted, but the results were ignored. If student government is to represent the student body, they should allow the students to select their representatives rather than appointed them through administrative action."
O'Donoghue and Norton had no comment on the appeal itself, however Norton said their roles will not change until the appeal is heard.
"Odie and I are going to continue to act in our capacity as president- and vice president-elect until otherwise notified of that status," Norton said.
Osborn and Donahey made the decision to appeal when the Hunt Hanover and John Micek ticket announced Monday they would not appeal the Judicial Council's decision.
Dan Peate, campaign manager for Hanover/Micek, made a statement on their behalf.
"We think all of this is a good example of why campaign reform is necessary," Peate said. "A committee has been formed by Micah Murphy to address the issue, and it is about time. We chose not to appeal, we have no desire to appeal, but we respect their right and definitely think they should be allowed to file this appeal."
Current student body vice president Michael Palumbo said the appeal will be heard by Student Senate as soon as possible.
"We're trying to have a meeting [today] at 6 [p.m.] because we understand this is an urgent matter which needs to be handled as soon as possible," he said. "Most senators realize the issue needs to be addressed and are saying `let's do it tomorrow.'"
All News Stories for Thursday, February 24, 2000