As candidates demand a recall, students worry about a “government shutdown” in the fall
BY Christian Hernandez & Laura Taveras
The voting ended a month ago, but drama over the student government elections continues.
Several Undergraduate Student Government officials and candidates have accused the Student Elections Review Committee of violating protocols, and as a result creating an unfair outcome. If the elections are thrown out and re-done, this could spell chaos for the student body which would be without a USG for an undetermined amount of time.
Despite high turnout, they also claim that IT issues plagued the two-day voting period. Some students either were not allowed to cast their ballots or were told that they had already voted – when they hadn’t. The polls were scheduled to end on May 5th but were extended by 14.5 hours, according to an appeal to CUNY University Student Senate officials. Despite the extension, students still faced issues that ultimately stopped them from casting their votes.
Currently, officials and candidates are calling for a re-election. Tammie David, a candidate for president under the slate USA, calls the election “messy.” “There was information leaked to particular candidates” and “a lot of the guidelines were ignored,” she says.
Independents also express dissatisfaction with the election process. “This year’s elections were plagued by a series of misinformation, ineffective management and a faulty voting system— don’t get me started on the process candidates used to get votes,” shared Naomi Sukran, who ran as an independent in this year’s elections. “I was overall disappointed with the way the election was conducted.”
Safat Chowdhury, who ran for president and won under the slate SRC, disagrees. He believes that the elections could’ve been smoother but were fair. “The elections had their slow moments…” he says. “But I believe the appeal has no grounds.”
Even as the bickering continues, some officials worry about the effects of not currently having a USG. One past USG member believes that because the student government manages the budget for the student organizations and clubs on campus, the lack of a governing body will affect that budget in some way.
Still, nearly everyone agrees on one thing: Administrators in charge of the election should begin the process earlier. Says Chowdhury: “The election community should start a lot earlier, maybe end of fall.”