Complainant Drops Charges, Cites Busy Schedule

David Joannides (17C), who submitted a formal challenge against Student Government Association (SGA) candidates Gurbani Singh (18B) and Natasha Armstrong (18B) to the Elections Board March 25, withdrew his complaint Monday due to scheduling conflicts.  

“I was too busy to attend multiple Elections Boards hearings [and] meetings this week,” Joannides wrote in a March 28 statement to the Wheel.  

The Elections Board granted the withdrawal, according to Elections Board Chair Betty Zhang (20C).

Singh, who is currently SGA executive vice president, and Armstrong, who is currently SGA representative-at-large, are running on a joint ticket for SGA president and executive vice president, respectively. Singh and Armstrong did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

“Elections Board has received correspondence from the challenger declaring that he no longer wishes to pursue the challenge against presidential candidate Gurbani Singh and executive vice presidential candidate Natasha Armstrong due to personal obligations that conflict with his ability to take part in the hearing process,” Zhang wrote in a March 28 statement to the Wheel.

Joannides issued a formal complaint to the Elections Board March 25 “on the basis of violation of the Honor Code and its prohibition of plagiarism,” according to the formal complaint. The University Elections Code requires all candidates to follow University policy, Honor Code and Conduct Code, according to University Elections Code Part V, Article 3, Section 2 (J).

Joannides’ complaint cited a March 23 Wheel article that detailed how 42 percent of Armstrong’s 2017 executive vice presidential platform reading word-for-word portions of Singh’s 2016 executive vice presidential candidate platform, repeating Singh’s topics of safety and transportation, academics and dining.

After the elections end March 31 at 8 p.m., Elections Board will meet to discuss updating the University Elections Code to address problems that arose during this year’s election process, which will then be recommended to SGA for approval, according to Zhang. Zhang said possible improvements may include requiring candidates’ platforms and campaign materials be submitted for review.

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