The Central Student Judiciary will be hearing appeals this weekend as Central Student Government parties youMICH and forUM remain locked in a legal battle for both the presidency and control of the assembly.
The University Elections Commission will be defending its rulings before CSJ in a hearing against forUM Saturday morning and a hearing against youMICH Sunday morning.
forUM appealed the UEC’s decision to disqualify LSA junior Chris Osborn, the presidential candidate of forUM, and his running mate, LSA junior Hayley Sakwa, after the commission found Osborn to be guilty of influencing voters while voting.
youMICH appealed the UEC’s ruling to award no demerits to forUM for charges it abused an e-mail listserv. While the UEC ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence, youMICH is presumably attempting to bring the total demerits against forUM — which already has eight — to 10 or more, which would disqualify the party that won a majority of seats on the assembly.
As a party, forUM was awarded eight demerits after the UEC found forUM guilty of violating donations limits to a party. According to the election code, students are to donate only $150 to a party, but both Osborn and Sakwa gave $300 to the party.
During the UEC hearing, forUM counsel argued that the money was given to the party as part of its dues before the rule took effect.
The UEC, however, found that campaign finances are subject to accrual accounting, meaning that the timeframe of a donation is less important for what purpose it was used. forUM was awarded four demerits for both Osborn’s and Sakwa’s donation. That decision is not being appealed.
The UEC held the three hearings against forUM late Friday, stretching into the early morning before the UEC released decisions at 5:30 a.m. Saturday.
LSA senior Lukas Garske, the CSG student general counsel, said it’s quite possible that CSJ could remand the cases back to the UEC to hear with a different interpretation of the election code. Elected candidates don’t take their seats until 10 days after the election has been ratified and postponement of the ratification could extend the terms of current CSG leaders by several weeks, as was the case last year.