Post Classifieds

Controversy Over Naopli's Disqualification from SGA Elections

By Thomas Lotito
On March 10, 2011

Over a week has passed since James Napoli was disqualified from running for student body president, and some have voiced their discontent with the uncontested race for. Protest posters have been posted on Facebook and even a few blog posts have voiced their opinions, But Elections Commissioner, Dan Torres, stands by his decision. Torres' role as elections commissioner was to make sure that the candidates adhered to the rules of the election. He said that he set to have the petitions handed in by 5 p.m. the day they were due, and that Napoli did not hand them in on time.

"I was very clear that if you were not here at 5 o'clock, you were disqualified," Torres said.

Torres said that the wording of SGA's constitution is notoriously poor. But it did give the elections commissioner to set some of the rules for the election, including setting the time for the petitions to be handed in.

"At the end of the day I made a decision that I know was the right choice and I would do it again," Torres said, "I think that because we all know each other it became very emotional."

Torres is referencing a comment made by Paul DiBlasi that said the election was skewed because of how members of SGA sat in their privileged positions. Last Wednesday, DiBlasi spoke at length about how every member of SGA was to blame for not gathering more interest in the elections as well as the organization.

"I think that we lose a little bit of touch with everybody else," Torres said. "I think we all lead very busy lives. Obviously it is a club, but there is that family mentality and we lose sight of what's going on around us."

But Torres said that SGA did make efforts to reach out to the student body. This year, they used twitter and Facebook more than ever. "There were dozens of opportunities for people to find out about it," he said.

Still, members of the student body have expressed disappointment in the fact that the position of student body president, their supreme representative, is not their choice. Students, as well as members of SGA, had posted a "poster" of sorts on Facebook saying "No Choice, No Voice."

"It's inherently American to let your voice be heard," Torres said regarding the protests. But he contested, "for me to make those decisions based on our own constitution, and then they were upheld by the chief justice, that is a democratic process. The truth is that democracy is messy."

The results of this semester's elections will be aired live on MCTV Thursday, March 10 at 5 p.m.

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