The recent Student Association election turned from a matter of counting ballots to a full blow court case on Tuesday night. Michael Johnson won the election but was soon after deemed ineligible to take office due to concerns about his GPA. According to the S.A. constitution, an elected president must have a 2.2 GPA. Johnson has refused to reveal his GPA.
Johnson has filed a grievance on the grounds that having a GPA requirement to become S.A. president is discriminatory and exclusionary.
"Article 7 says you need a 2.2 GPA requirement, article 19 says we can’t ask," said Johnson.
Another point he made was that GPA cannot accurately measure a person’s abilities in other areas, thus, it should be a criteria for serving as Student Association president.
"GPA in this day and age is not indicative of a persons leadership ability," Johnson said.
The GPA waiver was signed by both candidates early in the election. Rachel Dunn, chair of the elections committee, said Johnson did not want to hand the waiver in but did so reluctantly after a deadline was set.
"He knew all along that he wasn’t going to be able to be sworn into office based on our current constitution," Dunn said.
There are currently three ways this issue could be resolved. Johnson could win his case and take office, over turning the GPA requirement. The runner up, Steven DiMarzo could take office. The third option is that the committee could follow line of succession, meaning the newly appointed vice president, T.J. Scandaliato, would take the position of president and there would be a shift of all people to the position above.
"As far as our code and our constitution are concerned, line of succession is currently what would make sense…but everything is up in the air still," Dunn said.
In 2003, a student was ruled ineligible to take office and the second place candidate took office. Dunn said they are looking into the circumstances surrounding this case.
Johnson, meanwhile, called the circumstances surrounding his election unjust, unfair and a disenfranchisement of the 404 students who voted for him.
"I’m doing this for the students. I’m not doing this for myself, why would I put myself through this?" Johnson said.
Dunn said the elections committee is considering a change to the GPA requirement. She said they are considering making it an even 2.5 across the board.