2013 SGA Elections

Emily Haddad and Christos Liardakis


NEIU held its annual Student Government Elections for the following year’s Student Government Association (SGA). After much debate and hard work the polls closed on Friday, April 12. The election results were officially ratified on Tuesday, April 16 at the SGA meeting in SU-003. On Monday, April 22, the university’s new SGA was officially sworn in during the Passing of the Gavel ceremony.
The actual ratification of the election results came under fire during the SGA meeting as senators debated the validity of the election with the election commission. Chair of the election commission Sam Aguirre and Director of Student Leadership and Development Veronica Rodriguez were both present at the meeting, representing the election commission to deliver a final decision about a complaint filed with the election commission about the usage of iPads by candidates during the campaign.
The complaint stated that a “team of candidates” were offering people the use of their personal iPads to people for voting purposes while campaigning. Two of the five named in the complaint have publicly stated they do not even own iPads, and one of the accused named was not a candidate.
Aguirre stated and Rodriguez confirmed as the election commission’s official statement that since there were multiple elections orientations that prospective candidates could attend “the commission used only the official election code to address all alleged violations,” said Aguirre. “The election code does not state that the use of electronic devices other than more than two computers at a table leads to a violation, and furthermore the commission unanimously agrees that no candidates committed a violation by using tablets during the election week,” he continued.
This statement was repeatedly clarified through discussion with Aguirre and Rodriguez. Jesus Nuñez, current Student Trustee on the Board of Trustees and former candidate for the position of SGA President chose to read the actual complaint out loud, disclosing the names of the accused but not the complainants. Veronica Rodriguez stated to the Independent that “The final decision on the matter is that it is not addressed in the rules. People feel strongly one way or another. Some think (the use of iPads) is innovative. Next year’s senate, with the advice and help of the commission, will have to decide whether they can be used or not. Either way, it will be addressed one way or another.”
The ratification of the SGA election passed with 11 members approving, 0 rejecting and 4 abstaining from the vote.
The new SGA President Ashor Jajou won with 484 votes, while the combined total of votes for the other four candidates vying for the presidency was 406 votes. Louie Georgopoulos will be taking the seat of SGA Vice President, with Ira Finkel as SGA Treasurer and Rachel Forgash as SGA Secretary. Franklin Ortega won the position of Student Trustee serving on the NEIU Board of Trustees. All five members received a strong majority of over 50 percent of student votes during the 2013 election.
The new SGA Senate will be made up of: Samuel Han, Melanie Betancourt, Mark Hanna, Carina Flores, China Rogers, Memory A. Pines, Raven Reese and Pamela Ward.
The Council of Clubs (COC) Representatives for the next school year will be: Robert Hansen, Mauricio Mora, Parisha Patel, Shaz Shah, Tihomira Milkova, Keila Cruz, Tomas Uriostegui, and Akash Shah.