Opinions, Editorials

Election Committee’s Decision was Justified

On Wednesday night, the Elections Committee denied an appeal from Nikita Patel, CSOM ’17, and Joseph Arquillo, LSOE ’17, to appear on the presidential ballot for the upcoming election, which would have extended the Jan. 29 nomination deadline. This means that no new teams may enter the race and it will officially be Anthony Perasso, LSOE ’17, and Rachel Loos, MCAS ’18 against Olivia Hussey, current Undergraduate Government of Boston College executive vice president and MCAS ’17, and Meredith McCaffrey, MCAS ’17, on the 2016 ballot. Arquillo was previously the campaign manager for Elizabeth Foley, MCAS ’17, and Joseph McCarthy, CSOM ’17, who recently dropped out of the race.

The Elections Committee’s decision was grounded in the rules outlined in its official Elections Code. The previous extension of the deadline from Jan. 22 to Jan. 29 was a different circumstance because it did not reopen a closed election, as an extension would now. UGBC presidential candidates are expected to abide by the rules set out in the code. Although the situation is unusual, with the recent dropout of candidates Foley and McCarthy, it remains imperative that the established rules for the election still be followed. The candidates should not make the decision to run last minute.

One of the arguments put forward for the extension of the deadline was that the campaign of Perasso and Loos was satirical and was not truly interested in winning the election. This allegation has nothing to do with the direct issue at hand of whether to extend the deadline. The Committee is not meant to make decisions based on the campaign’s platforms, ideas, or how the campaign may be perceived. As the Committee’s statement read, “As an unbiased committee we cannot create an exception, nor is it our responsibility to assess the content or platform of any campaign teams.” Perasso and Loos’ campaign submitted the necessary information before the deadline and is therefore afforded the same privileges as any other campaign.

This issue comes down to a simple adherence to the pre-established rules. The two remaining campaigns both followed the rules from the beginning and it would be unfair to allow a third campaign to enter the race that did not do this. Past deadline extensions were made when a team was running unopposed and asked for an opponent to run again, but this is a different situation. The election has been closed for some time and a team’s dropping out does not necessitate reopening the ballot. The Elections Committee’s decision was based on these rules and it was right to stick by them. It is not the Committee’s job to judge the quality of a particular team or campaign, or to make decisions based on extenuating circumstances when there are already two teams running for the offices.

Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor

February 18, 2016