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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ruling on Class of 2018 presidential disqualification expected within 48 hours

Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION
Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

A decision on Class of 2018 president Sam O’Rourke’s case against SGA Election Commissioner Emma Douglas is expected to be finalized within 48 hours of its most recent hearing Monday.
The two parties argued in a series of speeches as to why their case adheres to not only the rules of the election, but also the voices of the Texas A&M student body. The hearing was held before Texas A&M SGA Judicial Court.
Douglas, business honors sophomore, contested that the rules and regulations of student elections clearly state the absence of a campaign expense report — even no money is spent — warrants immediate disqualification.
“The major opposing point the judges brought up tonight was that the election commission did not officially meet to classify the offense as a major violation,” Douglas said. “However, it is clearly stated in the rules that candidates are disqualified on 5 p.m. of voting day if they do not turn in this form. Therefore there is no need for a meeting because it is stated explicitly in the rules.”
O’Rourke, incumbent class president and winner of a 78 percent vote, would face either disqualification or a fine if the final decision is not ruled in his favor.
“There is nothing illegitimate about the election results, nor did this consequence come with any malcontent,” O’Rourke said. “If any violation ever warranted a fine as opposed to disqualification, this would be it.”
Fernando Sosa, political science senior and former Student Senate rules and regulations chair, said although Douglas stated that the decision will be finalized within 48 hours, in his experience the final decision will likely be made by midnight or Tuesday at the latest.
“Justices involved in the case move into deliberations after the argument to consider the merits of each party,” Sosa said. “I would predict a swift decision for this particular case though decision times typically vary on a case-by-case basis.”
O’Rourke said he is willing to accept punishment for his violations that acts in accordance in election commission regulations while still enfranchising voters.
“I am striving to be the sole recipient of my consequences,” O’Rourke said. “I do not want the Class of 2018 to pay for my mistakes.”
Douglas said though democracy respects the 78 percent of voters who backed O’Rourke, the entire campus voted on a Student Senate that upholds its rules and regulations.
“The voice of an entire campus is louder than 78 percent of the voting class of 2018,” Douglas said. “The voters across all of campus voted the senate in and their voice maintains that not turning in an expense report warrants automatic disqualification.”

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