Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Evidentiary Standard Referendum Passes

The evidentiary standard referendum initiated by the GUSA senate was passed in a study body-wide referendum Friday.

The referendum received a total of 2,629 votes, with 96 percent of students voting “yes” in support of changing the Code of Student Conduct’s evidentiary standard from “more likely than not” to “clear and convincing.”

Voting on the referendum opened Thursday morning and closed at noon Friday after being delayed nearly 10 hours due to the failure of one of the university’s domain name system servers. The GUSA Election Commission released the final results shortly after the polls closed.

All student body-wide referendums are required to reach a 2,000-vote minimum to be considered valid. This referendum received enough votes to cross the threshold by early evening on Thursday and garnered 2,629 votes by the time polls closed.

This election’s turnout surpassed the 2,463 students who voted on the Student Activities and Fee Endowment reform proposals last spring. The SAFE proposal referendum, however, was open for three days of voting while the evidentiary standard referendum was only open for a little more than a day.

GUSA President Clara Gustasfson (SFS’13) expressed excitement over the number of students who supported the change.

“I am very excited to see the referendum passed with such an incredible percentage. It definitely shows a huge interest from the student body on this issue,” Gustafson said.

Gustafson and GUSA Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS’13) will present and discuss the results at a meeting with Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson, who has the final call on whether or not to  approve the evidentiary standard change to the Code of Student Conduct.

“Hopefully we can use this to leverage to get a favorable decision from the university,” Gustafson said.

Olson had delayed his decision on the change until the completion of an external review of the university’s Office of Student Conduct. The review, which ended today, involved representatives from Loyola University of Chicago and Duke University, Georgetown administrators, faculty and students.
Olson said that he would consider the results of GUSA’s referendum when he makes his decision.
“I was impressed by the thoughtful and serious works GUSA led on the evidentiary standard,” he wrote in an email.
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