SCWSC Presidential Candidates Disqualified Following Special Election, Redo Election to Take Place This Fall
Both candidates for Stern College for Women Student Council (SCWSC) President, Shanee Markovitz and Talya Saban, have been disqualified from the special election. An election to fill the vacant seat will be held at the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester.
Shortly after polls had closed at 5 p.m. on May 6, The Commentator learned that the two candidates were disqualified from the special election. This special election for the position of SCWSC President, held four days after the initial election, was first called “due to a lack of clarity in campaign policy” which resulted in both candidates alleging rules violations against each other’s campaigns. In an email to the student body the day before the special election, the Beren Canvassing Committee said, “The Canvassing Committee has decided to put the power in the hands of the student body and therefore a re-election for this position will be held.”
According to the Beren Campus student council 2019-2020 election guidelines distributed by YU’s Office of Student Life, in order to be eligible to run, “One may not give any items away to students. This does not include stickers.” Similarly, article 10 of the SCWSC Constitution states, “Candidates may not give out any items to students” (6.C), although it does not mention an exception for stickers. Additionally, “No signs may exceed eight and a half by fourteen inches” (6.D), “All signs must be approved by the election coordinator(s)” (6.E) and “Candidates may use their personal social media outlets (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter et al) for campaigning purposes” (6.F). As of the time of publication, The Commentator has yet to learn which specific rule or rules were violated by the presidential hopefuls.
After the redo election was fully conducted, the Canvassing Committee emailed the Beren Campus students at 11 p.m. informing them that both SCWSC presidential candidates had been disqualified and that another redo election will take place next fall. According to the email, the special election had a stipulation “that all posters and campaigning materials must be down by Monday, May 6th at 9:30am, no exceptions,” which was violated when “multiple posters and promotional materials were still up in favor of both candidates in the school building and in the dorms” on the morning of the election.
According to the Canvassing Committee, “Both candidates are eligible to run for SCWSC President in the fall.”
The email also informed that the Office of Student Life will oversee the fall elections, as the undergraduate members of the Canvassing Committee will all have graduated by next semester. The email added that “there is a Constitution Committee that has been working diligently to try and update, reform, and refine the Beren Campus Constitution. A vote for enacting this Constitution will take place, most likely, over the next few weeks. We are hopeful that with the enactment of this Constitution, a Student Court will be formed that can oversee the elections and the forming of a Canvassing Committee from start to finish so that this kind of uncertainty can be eradicated in the future.”
“Like with all changes and new beginnings, there are growing pains, but we care deeply about having your voices heard,” concluded the email from the Canvassing Committee. “We look forward to the footprint you will make at Stern College and Sy Syms School of Business, and we can’t wait to hear great things from the three Beren councils over the coming school years.”