Western Herald – WSA presidency being contested

WSA presidency being contested

(Karie Kuiper / Western Herald) The position for the Western Student Association president is being contested. Students will be able to vote for either (left) Nordstrand/Dunsmore or (right) Knappen/Putnam next week.

(Karie Kuiper / Western Herald) The position for the Western Student Association president is being contested. Students will be able to vote for either (left) Nordstrand/Dunsmore or (right) Knappen/Putnam next week

By Fritz Klug
Western Herald

The Western Student Association is without a president as the Election Control Board (ECB) contested the results of the 2009 presidential election over charges that the campaign of Nate Knappen and Janine Putnam violated terms of the Election Control Board.

Knappen/Putnam received 60 percent of the vote, with 1,200 votes. Stacy Nordstrand and Courtney Dunsmore got 38 percent with 800, and 40 votes were write in candidates, making up two percent. The election had a record turn out of 2,104 voters, compared to 1,800 last year.

The charges are that Knappen solicited votes with his laptop, which is against the Student Election Code (SEC). Knappen was accused of violating sections 1.4, 2.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.6, 5.7, and 6.2 of the E.C.B. and was convicted of all but 2.3, 4.1 and 5.7.

The charges Knappen was convicted of are as follows:

-No candidate or agent of any candidate shall have the authority to interpret or enforce these regulations
-Candidates are responsible for reviewing and understanding the SEC. Candidates are responsible for presenting issues of confusion or contention to the Election Control Board chairperson before taking action that may be determined to be in violation of the SEC.
-Candidates shall not interfere with any election procedures in any manner.

The charges came to the attention of the ECB after overhearing conversations that Knappen was violating terms of the SEC on campus.

A cease and desist was sent out on March 16 at 4 p.m. to Knappen by e-mail, and was followed verbally at 5 p.m. Speaker of the Senate and ECB board member Andrew Ladd would not comment on whether Knappen/Putnam continued to campaign with his laptop after the warning.

Knappen said he allowed about 10 students to vote on his laptop for the candidate of their choice at the flag poles, and said he stopped as soon as the seize and desist was issued.

They then investigated the charges and sent it to the Judicial Council.

After the charges were made, the ECB sent them to the Judicial Committee for further review. They contested the election on Friday at 5:01 p.m.; the poles closed at 5 p.m.

The Judicial Council ruled that Knappen did not maliciously break the rules, but was ignorant.

“He is not completely innocent,” Katie Rollert, Chief justice of the Judicial Council, said.

The ruling will not bar Knappen or Putnam to run for elected office. They plan to run on the same ticket for the special election.

The special election will be held from 7 a.m. on April 13 to 4 p.m. on April 15. The election is open to new candidates. Letters of intent for those wishing to run are due by April 3.

“We are going to hold future candidates accountable,” Rollert said. “This makes our organization more respectable, by not looking the other way. We hope both major parties run again and see a fair election run.”

The problem, Knappen said, was a case of “misinterpretation of the ambiguous rules” of the SEC.

“The ambiguous nature of the SEC allowed the ECB to interpret the rulings against our favor,” he said. “ECB gave no warning. The ECB gave no guidance on what we could or could not do.”

“We understand, looking back, the ECB’s interpretation,” Putnam added.

Knappen said he and the Judicial Council have a different definition of what a “polling place” is.

“What it stems from is that the SEC has not been updated in accordance to the change in electronic voting,” he said. “It is very outdated.”

Ladd said the SEC was rewritten at the end of the 2008 fall semester, and portions have been revised since.

Both Knappen and Putnam said they would have stopped if they knew they were in violation of the SEC.

“Students voted for us for a reason,” Putnam said. “They believed we would not have done anything wrong. This is the last place we wanted the election to go.”

“We will have much more contact with the ECB than before,” Knappen said.

This is not the only instance election results have been contested in the WSA. history, but the first time since Chris Praedel revitalized the organization in 2006.

“I am most nervous because they might not get as high of a voter turnout,” current WSA President Danielle Harik said.

Harik’s term ends halfway through the next meeting, where the speaker of the senate will take over as interim-President until the special election is complete. She said it will be hard to hand over the reigns to an interim-president.

The interim president will be the new speaker of the senate, who will be elected at next weeks WSA meeting.

“The Judicial Council did a thorough job,” Harik said, adding, “Nate would have never been malicious.”

Not all fell that the accusations are excusable.

“The honesty and integrity of our organization has been manipulated,” said Nordstrand. “Our student body needs someone who has these qualities. Courtney and I will work our hardest to make honesty and integrity stay intact.”

Nordstrand said she was very surprised at first, and then became upset.

“We had been working so hard that when it was challenged, we were hurt,” she said. “We feel that the student body needs to know what happened.”

Nordstrand said that she and Dunsmore contacted the ECB many times over the course of campaigning to make sure they followed all the rules.

“We did it for six weeks, we can do it for three more,” Nordstrand said.

“I was surprised that the situation happened at all,” Alex Roman, a WSA senator representative from the Lee Honor College, said.

He doesn’t see support within the WSA changing for candidates, but wonders who will vote a second time for a new president.

“There should be a session to go over the rules and guidelines for candidates,” he said.

If elected, Kappen said he will have a committee set up that will totally redraft the SCE.

“We refuse to allow this hurdle to prohibit us from serving the students of WMU as we intend to run in the upcoming election,” he read from a written statement.

Other results were announced at the meeting. Proposal A, which would replace the old WSA constitution, passed by an overwhelming 91 percent margin.

“The old one died the death of 1,000 cuts,” WSA associate justice Alex Smith said. “There were pages and pages of clauses that needed substantial interpretation.” The new constitution is much
shorter and revised. Lee and his committee went over the constitution line by line for two months.

Two environmental proposals set forward by Casey Barrons, head of the Campus Concerns committee, passed unanimously.
The first was to offer an organic food option in Campus Cafes. If it is successful, organic food will be offered in residential dining halls. Barrons is working with dining services to implement these foods.

The other was a campus wide ban on plastic bags. WMU would be the only university in the state to implement such a ban.

Barrons was surprised that both initiatives passed unanimously.

“The next step is to taking this to the people who make decisions,” she said.

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35 Comments to WSA presidency being contested
    • Chuck
    • Look at what a little sunlight can turn up. Knappen and Putnam couldn’t even make the effort to understand the rules that they agreed to abide by. How can they be trusted to understand the complexity of a university and of the issues facing students. In the three years of electronic voting, they are the only ones who have undermined the rules that everyone else who has run in the past three elections has seemed to understand. They have embarrassed the WSA and playing dumb to the facts has shown them to either be liars or incompetent. These are not the people who should be representing the students of WMU. The obvious choice, which has been from the beginning, is Nordstrand-Dunsmore. They are student voices with integrity and experience. Its a shame that they have to campaign three more weeks because others can’t be trusted to behave with the same integrity and respect for the process and the students they will be sworn to represent. Make sure you vote Nordstrand-Dunsmore AGAIN April 13-15.

    • Anonymous
    • This whole scandal is ridiculous. Knappen/Putnam knew that they were going against SEC rules. How could they not know?! This is a published document that anyone is able to view. I feel like if you are running for our student body president, the first thing that you should do is read the rules on how you can and cannot campaign. This CLEARLY shows that if Knappen/Putnam are elected, they will make uneducated decisions!

      Knappen said that he was at the flagpoles and soliciting people to vote for whichever candidate they choose. He failed to mention he introduced himself while wearing his campaign gear. Talk about the pressure! After being told to stop once, he did it once again.

      Students of WMU – we have been taken advantage of. It is our time to rise against this outrageous behavior and tell Knappen/Putnam that THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!

    • tumult cease
    • Mr. Knappen refers to a “committee set up that will totally redraft the SCE” …isn’t that what the ECB does?

    • anonymous
    • I am quite upset about this. The JC is basically saying next time we will not allow cheaters to taint the reputation of the WSA, but this one time its okay. It is not okay, Nate and Janine were caught cheating, asked to stop and continued to do so. We absolutely do NOT need people of that moral quality running one of the biggest organizations on campus. If they are already looking for loop holes in legislation set forth what will they do if they lead us?

    • Zach
    • Wow, the above 4 people are really butthurt.

      Who cares? Just have another election and see who the winner is.

    • Suzie
    • I am so proud as a student at WMU to read these four comments above, and I hope there are many more to come. We as students should be OUTRAGED that this had happened. Now that the results are being discussed I have heard many more than “10” students who voted on Knappen’s computer. This is outrageous and we cannot allow them to be elected to this office. Please help me in supporting Nordstrand-Dunsmore in the upoming special election and spread the word! The most important thing that we can do for the WSA right now is let the students at large know what happened and let them know that candidates Stacey Nordstrand and Courtney Dunsmore MUST be elected!

    • Anonymous
    • I think the students should look at all facts here. From what has been stated in this article, I see that the only issue is the fact that approximately 10 votes were captured by Knappen/Putnam on their own laptop. So, with taking away those ten votes, there is still an overwhelming difference in votes, 60:40. Thats a difference of FOUR HUNDRED student voters. Take away 200 student votes, Knappen/Putnam still would have won.

      What it appears to me is that there seems to be a sore looser here. Perhaps the other candidates should consider the thought that they substantially fell short compared to their opponent. I say to re-vote if that’s what it takes. But I’ll be excited to see when Knappen/Putnam wins again, proving the trust students have for such a well-rounded team.

    • Liz B
    • Am I the only one that is confused?!?!? So let me get this straight. Knappen/Putnam were campaigning at the flag pole and had a lap top out for students to vote (for either candidate) at, and that is the reason why we all have to vote again? Nate said that they only had 10 students actually stop to vote, so 1200 minus 10 (assuming all 10 voted for K/P) is 1190. Well doesn’t 1190 still beat 800?

      Anonymous #1, so when you voted for the US presidential camp gain and there were McCain supporters outside your polling area, you felt pressured to vote for McCain? If you did, then obviously you can not think for yourself, that is a shame.

      “The honesty and integrity of our organization has been manipulated,” said Nordstrand. “Our student body needs someone who has these qualities. Courtney and I will work our hardest to make honesty and integrity stay intact.” You are joking right? I find this quote VERY funny!! The Herald failed to mention that our honest Stacey also broke a MAJOR rule. Earlier in the campaign, while acting as Spirit Chair and representing the WSA, Stacey was handing out her fliers at the Bernhard Center on Western Wednesday. Did you call the ECB to make sure that was okay like you said you called many times before? Those who have not sinned may cast the first stone. Sorry, but I don’t that includes you Stacey.

      “Nordstrand said she was very surprised at first, and then became upset”
      Were you upset that you lost by a large margin?? Or surprised that you haven’t been called to the ECB for your violation yet? Maybe if you would have spent more time talking with students rather than trying to catch K/P making a mistake you would have been closer.

      Your boyfriend Chuck was right (the first comment), we do need someone with integrity and honesty to be president. Nate and Janine stood up to their pathetic charges with honor and integrity. How come you won’t admit that you broke a major rule and stand up for your own?

      Nate and Janine have the morals and characteristics that people can identify with. That is why they had 60% of the vote! It had nothing to do with 10 people using his computer to vote.


    • Jonathon Freye
    • Students of WMU, thank you for your faith in your appointed Election Control Board, and in our processes and procedures.

    • anonymous
    • what is the big deal about him getting 10 or 12 people to vote even if they felt pressured and voted for him… i mean he won by a landslide. Obviously he’s the candidate the school wants. stop crying.

    • Emma
    • I’m sure Nate didn’t get 400 people to vote on his laptop. He’s very intelligent and I hope the ‘transgression’ of helping people to vote doesn’t change the outcome of this election.

    • Ben
    • This is a very upsetting matter! Knappen/Putnam knew the rules and were able to ask the ECB and questions pertaining to the SEC. If they thought that something they were doing was at least remotely against the SEC they should have contacted a member of the ECB immediately. They obviously can not adhere to the SEC, so how are they going to be able to adhere to the WSA constitution and lead the student body. In short THEY CAN’T.

      My second concern is for the “beloved” JC. They made very poor decisions when this election was contested. They pretty much told future people that are wanting to run a campaign that they don’t really have to abide by the SEC because we will just let you off the hook with maybe a small slap of the wrist. The fact that they decided to have a “special” election is absurd. After the election was contested, what should have happened was that Knappen/Putnam should have been completely disqualified and then the senate would vote on a new president for the WSA. That is the correct way of going about a contested election.

    • Anonymous
    • One cannot ignore the difference between malficience and misficence (I think spelled those correctly). Well not necessarily excusable the intent was interpreted by the JC as non-malicious. So the attacking nature of comments and attacks at morality are totally unaccounted for and should be ignored.

    • Scott
    • It’s pretty clear that Nate and Janine did not know they were in violation of the rules, and that despite this, whatever votes they may have received had no impact upon the election.

      No one has paid any attention to the campaigning Stacey did while she performed her duties as Spirit Chair for WSA on Western Wednesdays, campaigning for herself while she was being paid by the University.

      All the comments here, especially the first comment by Chuck Ringer, Stacey Nordstrand’s boyfriend, are nothing but incendiary and meant to belittle Nate and Janine. No one is speaking about the issues.

      Both of the anonymous comments above accuse Nate and Janine of continuing to solicit votes even after they were told not to. The article clearly states this is not what happened. Why would Nate and Janine continue to do something when they knew they shouldn’t? They are smart enough to know it would get them in trouble, and they would not have wasted their time, money, and the help of their friends and family, by doing something that could have jeopardized their chances. They didn’t have to manipulate the rules or insult the other candidates to win. They won by 400 votes.

    • Suzie
    • I actually voted for Knappen/Putnam the first time around because of their school pride and enthusiasm.

      I can tell you right now that I will not make the same mistake twice. An election should be taken seriously, and all rules must be followed for it to be fair.

      If someone started a petition to enforce the rules and take Knappen/Putnam off the ballot, I’d sign it.

    • Private
    • personally, I voted for Knappen and will do so again. No candidate is out to screw the student body. I dont see a part in this article that says the 10 voters were threatened or were to be harmed if they didnt vote for him on his laptop.
      Maybe it did break the rules, however I simply dont see this as a reason for me to change my vote, im sorry but I dont get that “Hes gonna try and destroy the student body government” vibe from him.

    • Justin
    • “The Judicial Council ruled that Knappen did not maliciously break the rules, but was ignorant” I cant say anything to that except that people need to open their eyes. If the WSA thinks that Knappen is ignorant…then why would the student population want an ignorant person to represent them?People’s true colors are shining through now, and we as a student population have a second chance to not make a horrible decision! Make the right choice people!!!

    • Lisa
    • Praedel and Chuck’s girlfriends lost in a landslide! The students of WMU have spoken! End this madness and allow President and VP Knappen/Putnam to take their rightful positions running the WSA and moving our students and university forward!

    • Kaylee
    • Wouldn’t you think if K/P kept getting votes on their laptop after the cease and desist email, the JC would have agreed to this re-vote? If they knowingly kept doing this, they have been kicked out of the election and N/D would have won. Also, correct me if I’m wrong, if you subtract 10 votes from the total votes K/P received, wouldn’t they still win? Maybe N/D team and followers needs to go back to grade school and retake 2nd grade level math. This just seems N/D is a sore loser. She wanted Nate as her running mate then failed to inform him she chose another person. Then she tells him after he decides to run himself, “I can’t be your friend anymore.” How old are we Stacy, 12? She knew with Nate running against her, she’d lose. Even hear in the business world, “Its not personal, its business.” Get used to it, you haven’t even begun your life in real world yet!

    • Chuck Ringer
    • First, I love that after being shown to be a cheater, the Nate supporters still believe him to be an honest person. Is all the proof you have that he only had ten people vote on his laptop is his word? The word of a cheater doesn’t really carry water for most people, but continue to be delusional if you’d like.

      I agree with everyone who has said that he should have been flat out disqualified, but I can’t fight to change what has happened, I can only do what I can to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen twice.To fill everyone in on a little information, the Nordstrand/Dunsmore campaign didn’t challenge the election, the Election Control Board did. While the ECB did seek information regarding allegations from Nordstrand and Dunsmore, that is as far as the campaign team went in pursuing this.

      Furthermore, for those throwing allegations at Stacey, this “flagpole” incident was actually blown out of proportion by Nate himself. Before he had even announced he was running, he ran to the ECB to report that Stacey was handing out campaign materials at a Western Wednesday event. For anyone who actually knows first hand information, you would know that she handed a stack of fliers to a friend who happened to stop by at the flagpoles to pick them up. She was not campaigning at the flagpoles at all. But remember, that is not what Nate reported as he started his campaign of deception and cheating.

      The reason you can’t just subtract the 10 from 1200 is because we don’t know how many people were actually coerced by Nappen/Putnam. You don’t know how many people will change their vote because of this incident.

      I don’t know why so many of you are complaining about this, you’re not the ones that are forced to continue an already grueling campaign for another 3 weeks because someone else had to break the rules.

      Finally, to correct Kaylee above, Stacey never wanted Nate has her running mate. Who’d you hear that from Kaylee, Nate? Good source of (mis)information.

    • Private
    • To address all the comments above. The issue at hand is not the amount of votes the candidate received on their own personal computers or whether or not one slate was busy “telling on the other”. The ECB (a nonbiased group of students that were approved by the senate) was the group that contested the election because they believed that something was amiss. (Not any candidate) The K/P Slate was found guilty of misfeasance, or in layman’s terms, not knowing the rules. The SEC was given to anyone and everyone that was interested in running in the election (including college senators) everyone else that ran in this election knew the rules and abided by them. No person or campaign is above the SEC and EACH and EVERY candidate is expected to follow the rules set forth by the ECB and approved by the senate. The only question you need to ask yourself when you vote again is this…

      If a candidate cannot follow and understand a four page document what makes you think that they can lead a group of over 24,000 students?

      Ignorance is no excuse.

    • Ben
    • This is not about how many votes K/P received on the laptop, it is about them breaking the rules, period! The other things is that the JC did not “agree” to a re-vote, it was their orders to have a special election. There is no choice for the ECB to make, they are required by the JC to hold a special election where anyone interested in running can run a campaign. There should not be a special election in the first place because after the election was contested and the k/p slate was found guilty, the election was over. Since that happened the vote SHOULD have went to the senate and they would vote on a president for the WSA. The special election is only happening because the current JC doesn’t have the guts to upset anybody. This is politics, we cant all just be one big happy family and be friends with everyone. People will be mad at other people, that is just how it goes. What the JC has just done is tell future people who want to run for a position that they can cheat and its ok to do so because we will just give you a second chance even thought you broke the rules.

    • LR
    • I can’t believe we’re spending more money on another election. Who cares if they “broke the rules?” You don’t need your JD to spend $20,000 a year on T-shirts! WSA is a big enough money pit, why sink more cash into that the black hole of student monies?

    • Liz B
    • Like I said in my earlier comment, those who have not sinned may cast the first stone. I find it funny that everyone wants to persecute N/P for their honest mistake. I also find it amazing that multiple people commented on how N/P are so horrible for misunderstanding the rules and breaking one. Can anyone say that they have never made a mistake, or broken a rule that they were not aware of? If you can say that you have never made a mistake, you should be deemed a saint. 3

      For all of you (Suzie this includes you) that have made a mistake or was ignorant to a rule, does this mean that people should never trust you or your word again? No one is perfect. K/P and N/D are not perfect; they ALL make mistakes, even though Chuck would like everyone to think that Stacey is perfect. Just because someone unknowingly breaks a rule once, doesn’t mean that they think that they can do what they want. I don’t think K/P were the ignorant ones, I think the ignorance lies in those that feel the need belittle a person for their mistakes.

      If you think you are perfect, step up, you get the first throw.

    • Private
    • Liz B,

      I dont think you understand what exactly happened. Let me help you out.

      It wasnt one or two small things that were violated. The K/P slate was found to have violated 7, SEVEN, different parts of the SEC. Now I have read the SEC from front to back several times, and its really a “light read”. If seven different sections of were violated thats quite a substantial number.

      Basically what I’m getting at here is there are rules for a reason. You HAVE TO (Underlined and bolded etc.) know the rules. This isnt some little thing that these people are doing. You all are choosing a leader among 24,000 peers. I believe that you should expect them to know and abide by all the rules, because they are there for a reason.

      On a second note the JC ruling is completly acceptable for misfeasance. If K/P were truly unaware of the fact that what they did was wrong they should be given another chance. However, seven rules seems questionable at best to me.

      No one is perfect but I think if I were going to pick someone to lead my student body I would want someone that is damn close. The issue is really fairly simple. Both sides need to quite complaing and settle in for another round.

    • Liz B
    • Chelsee
      You seem to “hear” a lot of things from other people. Have you ever played the game telephone. The beginning message is NEVER the same as the end message. Meaning, don’t believe EVERYTHING you here, versions of a story change from person to person. Everyone perceives things in different ways. You know what they say about when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me. Don’t assume anything until you get all your facts correct.

      Bashing either of the candidates is not the answer. And neither is attacking someone’s character. That is a tasteless and immature.

    • Laurelai
    • I think it is interesting that ND / their supporters believe the only chance they have at beating KP the second time around is by bashing them.

      This is your second chance to prove you are the better candidates for the job! It’s not KP that is lucky to be allowed a re-vote, it’s YOU. But instead of getting out there and gaining votes by promoting yourselves, the things you stand for, and the attributes that make you the more qualified, you run a smear campaign.

      You DO come across as sore losers, grasping for anything you can use to discredit your opponent. I am appalled by the way ND and their supports have lashed out, particularly towards Knappen as in individual. The hateful things that have been said, written and even posted right here come very close to harassment: personal attacks on his character, beliefs, and SEXUAL ORIENTATION?!?! That is not just distasteful and completely irrelevant, it is criminal. You should be ashamed of yourselves. This behavior is petty, childish, and very unprofessional. You question the “ethics” of your opponents, but I am having a hard time with your standards of “honesty” and “integrity.” I cannot support candidates with such hypocritical disregard for other human beings.

    • Steph
    • Quick question for Chuck: did you get rejected from WMU’s grad program or did you decide to just go “somewhere better?”

    • Jamie
    • Chuck: The fact that you are dating one of the candidates in this election (Nordstrand) makes you clearly biased. I know you think you have a “good name” and people will listen to anything you have to say, but not this time, buddy.

      N/D are blowing hot air in any way they can because they believe that somehow over 60% percent of the student population that voted overwhelming for their opposition will respond positively to their “Slam Campaign”. Rules were broken. Mistakes were made. And in my opinion, it is being blown way out of proportion. Nate and Janine accepted responsibility. They are both proud WMU students, outstanding leaders and decent people.

      What I wonder to myself is, how can N/D SLAM two students who are loved so much by so many and believe that this reflects well on them, their campaign and their campaign committee. Nordstrand has plenty of personal faults that she needs to start taking credit for, rather than grasping on to the hope that she will one day “rule the school”.

    • Chuck Ringer
    • Steph,

      I like your observation that I didn’t choose to go to WMU for my graduate education. I also like that the options you’ve given me to respond with either question my intelligence or my pride in WMU. However, neither is the case, because life is a little more complex than your attempted diatribe.

      In going into the field of Higher Education Administration (sometimes called Student Affairs), going to the same school for both undergrad and grad work is frowned upon, because you’re not getting to experience a different schools style, size, culture, administrative setup, etc. Also, WMU’s Higher Education program is more of a counseling based program, and I was looking for an administrative based program. WMU’s program , though, is very well respected and produces very qualified practitioners in the field of Higher Education. It just wasn’t the right fit for the area of Student Affairs that I was looking to study.

      I still wear my Bronco gear every Wednesday though (and a lot of other days of the weeks; in 5 years, I accumulated quite a collection of Bronco gear). In class, I share the great things that WMU does for students as well as the lessons that I learned in my time there.

      I now have a question for you Steph, why are you trying to make this comment thread about me? There are important issues at stake in this election. Why not discuss those? Why not discuss relevant facts or share opinions on the issue? What good does trying to discredit me do? And if you actually know anything about the WSA, you’d realize that not many people have come out ahead when trying to discredit me publicly.

      PS – Its also not a good argument to try to discredit someone by questioning loyalty, you begin to sound like Joe McCarthy (google him).

    • Anton
    • Nedstraeeem / Dudsmore for WSA Pres! Vote for them this weekend (voting begins Friday at 9pm and runs through Sunday at 9pm).

      There are other additional chances to vote as well:

      1) When they lose yet again, then use their friends in the JC to throw out another election, just vote for them during round 3 of elections!
      2) When they lose the 3rd election and use their friends in the JC to throw out yet another landslide loss, just for for them during round 4 of elections! Special note: this will likely take place over summer break, and something tells me most Nirdstrom/Dumbsmore supporters are going to be here for summer (playing catchup for classes they weren’t smart enough to pass during the fall and spring semesters), so this will probably be a great turnout for team NordDumb. We may only lose 45/55 on that vote!
      3) Send a letter to SALP and DOSA telling them why you love voting over and over again for the same thing, and how proud you are in a student government where having friends in the right committees means you get to waste thousands of dollars and countless hours of people’s time getting fair and honest elections thrown out, all because a few girlies threw a temper tantrum after they lost!

    • Jessica
    • I just want to ask people to take a step back and look at the big issue. The issue is letting students who have been convicted of SEVEN charges of ignorance become the president and vice president of the most powerful organization on campus. I voted for Stacy the first time not because of who her boyfriend is or of what student organizations she belongs to, but because of her platform. Throughout the entire campaign preceeding this past election K/P did not seem to have a clear program for what they wanted to do. Every time I heard Stacey telling students what she was all about, she sounded focused and intelligent. That is not to say that the other candidates aren’t but I didn’t hear anything about their campaigns other than the fact that they didn’t have one. People talk about these things and lets face it, word of mouth is what can kill a campaign or any other program if it didn’t why would supporters of K/P be on here trying to get students to vote for him again. Just take another look at the issue the point of this is not to slam the other candidate I think we get enough of that in the presidential campaign for the entire nation. Please just revisit the issue.

    • Joe
    • Anton,

      You seem to be a little misinformed. Let me clear up a couple of things.

      1. The election will be held April 13th-15th. Please stop spreading misinformation.

      2. The Nordstrand/Dunsmore Campaign was not involved in the contesting of the election results. The Election Control Board discovered rule violations and brought them before the Judicial Council. This isn’t a question of sore losers, it’s a question of making sure the election is run in a fair and effective manner.

      3. The special election, as far as I know, will only cost a couple hours of work, handled primarily by the Election Control Board, who are unpaid. I don’t know where you’re getting this “thousands of dollars” figure.

      As always, civility to everyone involved (heck, to everyone in general) is appreciated. It is clear there are strong opinions here, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to insult or belittle one another.

      —Joe Stando

      P.S. Please remember to vote in the special election April 13th-15th. Details will be forthcoming.

    • JE
    • As a former WSA presidential candidate, I would like to make a comment on this matter. I am a friend of ALL presidential candidates running in this election and wish them all the best in the upcoming special elections.

      Campaigning for WSA President is a challenging, long, and sometimes grueling process. However, it is an experience one will never forget, as I certainly won’t.

      However, while mistakes and violations do occur in WSA elections, this particular violation is being held to a higher standard as it should. During my campaign, I put up flyers in an area on campus that violated the SEC. Both my opponent and I had did minor things that we were unaware violated the SEC, but corrected them quickly. A violation pertaining to the voting process should never be ignored and should be taken as a serious matter. While there apparently were only ten or so votes taken in a manner that violated the SEC, the democratic process was still violated. While the WSA in past elections have been at times quite contesting, I have never seen this occur.

      The SEC states that candidates are to be 100 feet from the entrances to polling locations. A student voting on a laptop or computer, in my opinion, is considered a polling location. Granted, it is hard to avoid someone on a computer who is within 100 feet of you as you are passing them on campus, sit next to them in a class, or working on a project or checking your email in a computer lab.

      However, it is quite understandable that a candidate should not solicit a voter during the voting process. During my election week, I made sure to handle myself carefully in any situation where computers were present around me. I made sure not to discuss the election during classes, remained quiet with no interaction while in the computer labs, and was particularly cautious around those who had laptops open anywhere I was present.

      The electronic voting process was first instated during the Praedel vs. Moss campaigns. I recall during the senate meeting that many senators were concerned about the possible ethical violations that could arise with electronic voting. However, the ECB at the time established strict guidelines about how candidates’ should conduct themselves during the campaign season and during election week. It was not confusing to Praedel, Moss, Harik, myself, and other WSA candidates who have ran in the past two years.

      Whoever wins in the upcoming special election will ultimately be the choice of the student body because the democratic process will not have been violated. Regardless if the Knappen/Putnam slate wins or the Nordstrand/Dunsmore slate wins, the democratic process was fair, and that is a beautiful thing. The democratic process is valuable and it gives opportunities for students like yourselves to let your voice be heard to faculty, staff, and administration. You have the opportunity to show up in a crowded room every Wednesday afternoon and express your ideas, your concerns, and your points of pride regarding this great university and your college experience, and know that change has a possibility!

      The Office of Student Body President should not be an office that is taken lightly. When the administration looks at the face of the student body, they are actually staring into the eyes of its student body president. I encourage everyone to make a wise decision in this election, regardless of which slate they choose, and in the future hold your student leaders to a higher level of accountability, providing them with the opportunities to earn your respect, trust, and admiration.

      While I was not able to make it back to campus this year due to financial difficulties, I am proud of the WSA and what it has accomplished the past few years. It is my hope that the positive direction that the WMU student government is heading continues and that every student knows they have a voice.

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