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Dean of students reverses disqualification of Student Government candidates

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Students will soon know which Bobcats will take office next fall as the 2016-2017 student body president and vice president as trials surrounding the election have come to an end.

Dean of Students Margarita Arellano announced her reversal of the Feb. 26 Election Board hearing that resulted in the disqualification of Andrew Homann and Samantha Martinez from the student body presidential and vice presidential election.

“I’m very happy,” Homann said. “The right decision was made. I’m excited for the students of Texas State, for them to be able to figure out who their president will be and for the votes to be released hopefully within the day.”

According to the review, Arellano disagrees with the Election Board’s Feb. 26 disqualification of Homann and Martinez because the actions of the executive alliance were not a violation of their campaign suspension.

The Homann-Martinez campaign was suspended from Feb. 22-24, meaning they couldn’t attempt to solicit votes in any way, as ordered by the Student Government Supreme Court on Feb. 20.

The suspension was a consequence of the Homann-Martinez alliance being found guilty by the Election Board of receiving endorsements from chartered student organizations, which breaks the Election Code.

The Election Board found Homann and Martinez guilty of violating the suspension after the pair failed to take their website offline and Martinez kept campaign logos on her social media. The alliance appealed the decision to the Student Government Supreme Court, which dismissed the case.

However, Arellano stated in her review that Homann and Martinez should not have been suspended for receiving endorsements from their Greek organizations because the groups are not considered chartered student organizations.

According to Arellano’s review of the appeal, Martinez’s Facebook profile photo was not used for campaign purposes and the campaign website was not promoted or active during the suspension.

Additionally, there were procedural errors in the hearing of the alleged violation. Only Chelsea Thompson, chair of the Election Board, was present at the trial. However, Student Government’s governing documents state that no action must be taken by the board if a quorum of four members are not present to preside over the hearing.

According to the document, Arellano also disagrees with the Feb. 19 Student Government Supreme Court ruling that originally suspended the Homann-Martinez campaign from Feb. 22-24, stating the action was outside the court’s jurisdiction as its only power is to conduct judicial review.

“I think she made the right decision,” Homann said. “The Election Board also ruled in our favor for that. I think the (Student Government) Supreme Court did overstep their boundaries in overturning the Election Board’s original decision, and I believe the dean of students agrees.”

Arellano ruled that the two rulings of the Supreme Court and the Election Board cannot be upheld. Both decisions were overturned.

Homann and Martinez’s opponents, Anthonly Galo and Holly Pavlicek, have not yet respond for comment on the decision.