Seven Students’ Association Candidates disqualified

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

Posters have been printed and stuff sporting slogans has arrived, but for seven Students’ Association hopefuls, the election loot will serve as reminders of what could have been.

Seven candidates-Rachel Lewis (Ag and Bio), Susanna Marking (Arts and Science), Gerad Johnson (Engineering), Billy Karlen (Engineering), Patrick Weber (Engineering), Matt Tollefson (Ag and Bio) and Tim Goldammer (Family and Consumer Sciences)-have been disqualified from the SA elections because they did not have enough signatures from members of their respective colleges, although they did turn in petitions with at least the minimum signature requirement. The SA constitution requires that a candidate have a petition with 50 signatures from students within the college he or she wants to represent.

Johnson attended the Feb. 25 SA meeting and spoke to the senate. He told the senators that he respected the decision made by the SA board of directors and that he still wants to be involved with SA.

“I’m very regretful that this happened,” said Johnson.

Marysz Rames, vice president of student affairs and SA advisor, spoke at the meeting in defense of the decision to disqualify the seven candidates. She said that while it is unfortunate that these students are no longer eligible, acquiring “five to ten” extra signatures would have ensured that the candidates had enough signatures.

Tollefson sought out students he used to live with in Hansen Hall as well as classmates. He plans to run for SA as an at-large senator.

“I made sure the first thing I asked was ‘Are you in the College of Ag and Bio?’ I just assumed that they were all good and that people knew what college they were in,” Tollefson said. “Looking back, it would have been easy to get ten extra signatures just to make sure. It would have been nice to know earlier, but it’s part of the rules, so I have to respect that.”

“It is the fairest way to deal with the circumstances,” said Marking. “I don’t believe that any of us intentionally acquired invalid signatures. We are all pretty honest people.”

The seven former candidates are still eligible to run for an at-large senate seat. Current SA Vice President Chris Schaefer says eight seats will be available. The new administration will provide applications for at-large prospects after this week’s elections. For any candidate running at-large, the 50 signatures on their petition can be from any college because the at-large senators represent SDSU students as a whole rather than a specific college. They are then interviewed and chosen by the standing senate.

“We are not completely at loss now because we are still eligible for at-large positions, so I imagine that the majority, if not all, of us will be be vying for that,” said Marking. “The only downside is that we now only have one opportunity of earning a seat on senate, when we could have had two.”