Following a marathon hearing that lasted through the night and delayed the results of the Central Student Government election by 10 hours, it appeared that the candidates’ weeks spent campaigning and politicking were finally over.
Still, the events of that night, nearly a month ago, did not truly come to a close until Friday.
In a 3-2 decision, the University Elections Commission prevented the disqualification of the election’s winners, Business junior Manish Parikh and his running mate, LSA junior Omar Hashwi. The UEC’s vote was identical to how it ruled on election night, when members of youMICH and OurMichigan filed the suit based on allegations that Parikh abused an e-mail listserv.
After Business junior Shreya Singh lost the election by only about 150 votes, youMICH appealed the UEC’s original hearing, which then proceeded to the Central Student Judiciary. CSJ eventually remanded the case to the UEC.
Singh announced shortly after Friday’s vote that she will not seek another appeal.
As per the CSG constitution, Parikh and Hashwi will be sworn in on April 23, 10 days following the final decision.
Parikh said he is wary of the work before him, but looks forward to beginning his term.
“We won this in the eyes of the students; we won this in the eyes of the judicial process,” Parikh said. “I understand that I’m not going to get much sleep this year, but I’m really excited to work for the students.”
Parikh said regardless of how students voted, he was glad so many people participated in student government. He added that even if students did not vote, he looks forward to engaging them in future CSG activities and elections.
“Student government is irrelevant without the student, Parikh said. “My focus is on returning student government back to the student.”
He added that the election commission should be lauded for their dedication to ensuring the election’s results were fair and accurate.
“(They) spent over five times the hours they thought that they would be putting in,” Parikh said. “Despite final examinations and other commitments, their dedication to this university and the ideals of justice is something I personally admire.”
Though elections ended in March, the ongoing appeal did not allow Parikh to take office at the regularly scheduled time. Exiting CSG President DeAndree Watson said time to organize before the end of the semester is valuable for the CSG president, which may present Parikh and Hashwi with some challenges.
“I think he’s going to have to make some quick decisions in the next few weeks to get some things in place in order to be fully functional and effective over the summer,” Watson said.
Watson added that he was pleased his extended term was coming to an end, if only to allow Parikh time to prepare for the work at hand.
“I’m glad that we finally got some closure, and that we can move forward (and) allow the next administration to come in and get busy,” Watson said.
Parikh said he plans to stay in Ann Arbor over the summer and declined an internship to focus on his presidential responsibilities.