Political controversy erupted at Princeton when someone forgot to turn in a form on time.
Incumbent Class of 2012 Social Chair Aparajita Das (pictured right) was disqualified from running this year because she submitted her candidate statement after the 5pm deadline. In addition, she failed to attend “candidate open houses” and “scheduled election manager office hours”.
The USG could deal with the missed meetings, but the late submission of a form offended their sense of bureaucratic integrity. While a late candidate statement used to just get one slapped with a 5-point penalty, it is now, under the regime of USG President Michael Yaroshevsky ’12, completely, totally, VERBOTEN.
We understand—rules are rules. And despite the multitude of cries to let Das run, they have to be adhered to. Reasonable—except for the fact that the new penalty came into effect last week and was not explicitly communicated to the candidates at all.
[Class of 2012 president Lindy] Li and several other class officers explained that they were disappointed in the conduct of the USG throughout the candidacy process.
“Not only were we not fully informed of this substantial election policy change, class government also had no say in the legislation process, since we are not voting members of the Senate,” Li said. “Indeed, [USG president Michael Yaroshefsky ’12] has always highlighted the sharp distinction between our two bodies. Technically speaking, class government and the USG are two separate entities. Why should we then have no say when it comes to shaping policies that affect us?”
One still has to wonder why Das turned the form in late in the first place (didn’t she have her old ones saved on her computer anyways?). The 5pm deadline was not new. Did she just not care about the rules?
A cursory glance at the comments on the Daily Princetonian article on the controversy makes it abundantly clear that few Princetonians do care — about this technicality, or about Yaroshevsky. In summation: The guy tells everyone to stop hurting his feelings and to take a chill pill, just as the mob rips him to pieces with well-constructed arguments and cheerleading for PJ Das.
Since there has been some friction between USG and the class governments in the past, to many this seems like just another move by Yaroshevsky to keep the class governments in control, before he tells the clones to attack the Jedi and establishes himself Emperor. At least
Darth Tulio Alvarez Burgos ’12, now running uncontested for social chair, is on his side. Anyone setting a reality television show at Princeton might as well just focus on student government.
USG offered Das the chance to appeal if she obtained 3 signatures from USG Senators. She did, and the appeal will take place tonight. Said Yaroshevsky: “I am happy we will be hearing the appeal…It demonstrates that our elections process is working.” Buddy, I am pretty sure if you have a candidate disqualified due to communication problems and people widely making a fuss over it, something is not working.
We at IvyGate are more than a little miffed as we type up all of these student election stories. Can Ivy League students not hold elections smoothly? Cannot they not run their governments without creating petty squabbles? These people are future Congressmen and Senators, for God’s sake….
Oh…it all makes sense now.
Update: Das lost her appeal last night, and will be ineligible to run, according to the Daily Prince.