The Rules Committee convened Thursday to hear Newing College Council’s claim of a fraudulent Student Association re-election. The committee, which did not have the power to act on the grievance, unanimously ruled instead for its dismissal.
The SA Judicial Board would normally be the body to hear the grievance, but most of the seats on the board are unfilled and likely will be for several weeks, so that body could not hear the grievance.
The case was presented to the Rules Committee by representatives from NCC and the Ad Hoc Elections Committee, which ordered the re-election.
Randal Meyer, the speaker of the Student Assembly and a member of the Ad Hoc Elections Committee, spoke on behalf of the Ad Hoc Elections Committee.
Meyer, a senior triple-majoring in philosophy, politics and law, philosophy and English, addressed the NCC’s accusations that the re-election violated Jewish students’ equal opportunity to vote by arguing that the timing of the election left students with 36 minutes to vote.
Meyer added that Google Maps dictates that it takes 16 minutes to walk from the Chabad House, the farthest place of worship around the Binghamton campus, to Newing.
Nicholas Jacobson, a junior majoring in history and the academic vice president of the NCC Board, presented his case to the committee, arguing that numerous students complained that they could not vote because the timing of the election conflicted with their religious obligations.
Addressing NCC’s allegations of voting fraud, Meyer claimed that NCC’s complaint does not apply to the committee and that the NCC has ‘absolutely no case whatsoever.’
Jacobson maintained that the election proceedings allowed anyone to cast or invalidate anyone else’s vote, stating that votes were even cast in Meyer’s name. He also asserted that numerous candidates invalidated their own ballots by accidentally voting twice from the same username, for example.
Tyler Albertario, a freshman majoring in political science, won the initial election but lost in the re-election to Travis Rochon, an undeclared sophomore, by a single vote.
In the run-up to the grievance, Albertario claimed that because he lost by such a small margin, the accidental invalidations were significant.
‘[The NCC] strongly disagrees with the Rules Committee decision and we will take the case to judicial board at the earliest opportunity in an effort to support our community,’ Jacobson said.
Meyer maintained that the Rules Committee made the correct decision by dismissing the grievance and expressed his hope to ‘move on from this issue.’