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

Hampton Disqualified; Giblin Wins

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Vikram Agrawal (SFS ’07), center, campaign manager for Kelley Hampton (SFS ’05) and Luis Torres (COL ’05), reacts to the news that election violations led to fines that put the candidates over the expense limit set for all candidates. Hampton, second from right, is embraced by running mate Torres, far right, after learning that their violations had cost them the election.

RELATED LINK Election’s Legitimacy Questioned Feb. 10, 2004

Adam Giblin (SFS ’06) and Eric Lashner (COL ’05) won the GUSA executive elections yesterday after Kelley Hampton (SFS ’05) and Luis Torres (COL ’05) were disqualified because of sanctions for campaign violations.

Hampton and Torres promised to challenge the results after learning they had received 36.3 percent of the vote. Giblin and Lasher followed with 32.3 percent. Josh Green (SFS ’06) and Lauren Butts (SFS ’06) trailed with 20.1 percent and Chris Schmitter (SFS ’06) and Dave Hartzler (COL ’06) were last with 5.8 percent. All write in candidates accounted for 5.2 percent of total votes cast.

President-elect Giblin said that although he would have preferred to win under different circumstances, he is prepared to face the tasks ahead.

“It’s horrible anytime anyone is disqualified. The number one thing it shows is the importance of the bylaws,” Giblin said. He predicts that issues will be raised in the Assembly, but regardless, Giblin said that he and Lashner intend to begin the transition process immediately.

Election Commissioner Lisa Lombardo (COL ’04) announced the disqualification for Hampton and Torres immediately before announcing the election results last night in Sellinger Lounge.

Each campaign is allotted $65 for campaign expenditures and an additional $10 for fines. Hampton and Torres spent a total of $79.

Torres was the campaign manager for the ticket of Rob Hutton (SFS ’04) and Nazareth Haysbert (SFS ’05), which was disqualified last year after sending out unsolicited e-mail during the voting period.

Hampton and Torres claim that some fines were unfairly assessed, including those relating to the placing of a flyer rebutting THE HOYA’s endorsement of Giblin-Lashner into copies of the newspaper last Friday evening, which resulted in $20 in fines, according to Torres.

While Hampton admitted to placing rebuttal flyers inside copies of THE HOYA, she said that she thought the election commissioner had approved of the idea.

“That was something that I thought they said I could do, and then after it happened they said they didn’t hear me say that I was going to do it,” Hampton said. “I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t OK. It had nothing to do with disrespect for the newspaper, but I did feel that the endorsement was not truthful and since there was no time for a rebuttal, we decided to print those flyers and offer a rebuttal.”

According to Torres, the election commission had later told him they did not approve of the idea and he told Hampton to stop, prompting them to eventually return to the places they had placed flyers to remove them. Newspapers had already been removed, however, from Village C East, Village C West and Harbin before the flyers were retrieved.

The election commission had stamped and signed the flyers, but did not approve of them to go into the newspapers. Placing unsolicited information inside newspapers is a violation of the student code of conduct and the laws of the District of Columbia.

“The Election Commission is given the power and authority to keep all matters and deliberations confidential,” Election Commission Member James Shea (COL ’04) said, releasing the only statement from the commission. “We will not comment on any of these issues out of respect of the bylaws, the process and the candidates.”

None of the commissioners would elaborate on any specifics regarding any campaign violations or illegal behavior.

The pair was fined $10 for each location that included the flyers, Harbin and Village C, according to Torres.

“There’s this huge gray area,” Hampton said. “We shouldn’t have been charged twice for that.”

Torres currently plans to appeal the election to the Constitutional Council.

“Today Georgetown spoke loudly, but a smaller group than the student body ultimately decided this election,” he said.

Giblin emphasized that ideas from all the campaigns would be considered as he prepares to take office.

“We are going to ask for copies of the platforms from all the campaigns and then determine what is feasible.” He also said that GUSA President Brian Morgenstern (COL ’05) would be integral to the transition.

“Brian knows the system better than anybody,” he said.

Giblin said he and Lashner plan on meeting with groups traditionally underrepresented in GUSA this week to encourage applicants for executive appointments. Another priority is to lobby for the inclusion of a takeout meal option for the on-campus dining services.

The GUSA Assembly must now certify the election results.

While members who have worked on campaigns will be encouraged to abstain from the vote, 10 of the 16 assembly members have worked for or endorsed the Hampton-Torres campaign.

“It’s going to be messy,” Morgenstern said.

Assembly Chair Jack Ternan (COL ’04), who worked for Hampton-Torres, blamed the election commission for the disqualification.

“The election commission was out to get [Hampton-Torres] all week, and have finally managed to do so tonight,” he said.

Hampton-Torres Campaign Manager Vikram Agrawal (SFS ’07) who is also a Freshmen Assembly Representative said, “I personally thing the entire process was unfair. I’m honestly disheartened that Georgetown University as a center for democracy loses its ideals and the student body votes for two candidates and they win the majority [sic] but are cheated by an unfair process.” Despite a second-place finish, Green and Butts said they had few complaints.

“We felt the Election Commission ran a fair campaign. It was a clean race.” Both intend to continue seeking the goals of their platform.

Voter turnout at 2,293 votes cast, was down from the 2,756 votes cast last year.

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