After several weeks and multiple hearings before the All Campus Judicial Council, a final ruling was issued stating that junior Joe Cala was rightfully awarded the second Class of 2006 Students’ Association Senate seat.Speaker of the House and senior Tom Hayes had appealed the ACJC’s original decision, citing portions of the SA Constitution which implied that the ACJC did not have the authority to remove senators from their seats. Since the election results were already certified before the first ACJC hearing and she had voted as a senator, Hayes claimed that junior Princy Thottathill was already a senator.ACJC responded in its opinion, writing, “Here the Council holds that it did not act unconstitutionally. [By] acting to overturn the decision of the Senate Elections Committee we did not remove Princy Thottathill from her seat. Our decision was that the fall election of a Class of 2006 seat violated the bylaws.”The decision continued, “We in fact invalidated the election itself, thereby nullifying the actions of the senate which violated the bylaws. Based on that decision, Princy Thottathill never was a senator as there was no seat to which she could fill.”In ACJC’s previous decision, in the case of Joe Cala v. the SA Senate, the ACJC ruled that Cala should be awarded the seat based on last spring’s election results and bylaws which state that upon vacancy, a senate seat should be offered to the next highest vote getter before an election is held.At Monday night’s senate meeting, Senator and senior Alex Brody made a motion to allow Thottathil to serve in a temporary Class of 2006 seat for the duration of the term.”I believe we should suspend ACJC’s ruling and allow three Class of 2006 senators because this issue is wasting a lot of time and there are more important issues that we should be dealing with,” Brody said. “Also, I don’t think there will be a large impact [from the Class of 2006 having an extra seat] because the issues we discuss affect everyone, not just 2006.” “Finally, Princy got a lot of votes, went to the SA retreat, and showed initiative by trying to join the Students’ Association Appropriations Committee,” Brody said. “I believe that this is the best way to remedy what we did.”Thottathill, who was in the gallery, was asked whether or not she would be still be interested in serving on the senate shortly after the discussion began.”After everything that has happened, at this point, I think that I would turn down the seat if you created one for me,” Thottathill said. “I appreciate what you’re doing, but I don’t want to worry about ACJC overruling and taking the seat away.”With the knowledge that Thottathill would no longer take the seat, if the senate suspended the bylaws to create one, Brody withdrew his motion.”Princy is going to continue working for students through the Cabinet,” SA President and senior Pete Nabozny said. “I’m sure that she will do a great job.””It is disappointing that Princy will not be able to serve on senate as she had wanted to,” Chief of Staff and sophomore Alex Pearlman said. “I respect her decision though and look forward to working with her in other capacities.”Keesing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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