The recent elections for student government generated quite a bit of media coverage on and off campus and were a test of the ASPSU’s ability to handle a tough and unexpected challenge. They not only passed the test but get extra credit to boot.
Before I go further, I want to acknowledge the results and congratulate the victors – President Dana Ghazi, a graduate student in conflict resolution, and Vice President David Martinez. I look forward to working with you as we help guide Portland State through another year.
Most of all, I want to commend students involved in ASPSU for their conscientious and resolute handling of the election, given the difficult issues that arose.
Midway through the initial voting, the student Judicial Board discovered improprieties and ruled that one of the two presidential candidates was ineligible to run. That left the Elections Board in a quandary: students were voting an inaccurate ballot.
When I talked to current ASPSU President Eric Noll about what had become an election emergency, he urged me to have faith in student government’s ability to come up with a workable approach. The Judicial Board then voted to reset the election and allow students to vote on new slate of candidates. Despite a short timeframe, the result was an informed electorate, a real contest and two qualified victors.
At PSU, the student president is a key voice and representative of this big, diverse campus. I have worked closely with ASPSU leadership over the years, but this past year has been the most successful. I welcome the opportunity to strengthen this partnership with Dana and David. Good luck to both of you.