The Student Judicial Board decided Monday afternoon that Andrew Whyte, former presidential candidate and runner up in the election, will be the next Student Government Association president, leaving Ashley Epperson as executive vice president.
According to the 2013 SGA Election Guidelines, if a candidate is disqualified or does not accept a position, the candidate with the next highest number of votes will be declared as the elected officer or representative.
Epperson was announced president-elect after the sudden disqualification of running mate Christian Hill due to the altercation with a fellow fraternity brother. She was unable to be sworn in as president Thursday night due to Whyte’s appeal, according to SGA adviser Dr. Darryl Holloman.
The judicial board’s decision came after Whyte submitted an appeal on April 23 regarding the Election Commission’s decision to accept Epperson as president.
“I think it is important that fairness is at the heart of our discussion,” Whyte said. “This is why I appealed the 2013 SGA election results—my decision to do so came about after I reviewed the details surrounding the election. I hope in doing this, students will see that is okay to stand up when they feel cheated.”
The SGA Constitution specifies that the president and executive vice president candidates run together on a ticket, but it doesn’t state that they would both be disqualified in the event of ineligibility. The constitution also states that candidates running on the same ticket are considered two candidates, despite both being on a single ticket.
This statute allowed the judicial board to grant Epperson the position of executive vice president since she received the highest number of votes for the position.
“Personally, I see myself open and think it is important that I work with [Epperson],” Whyte said. “I would love for [Gibosse] to have been my EVP, but having someone with a different perspective could also work well.”
Whyte also said he felt it was unfortunate Sebhastien Gibosse, his former running mate, would not hold the position of executive vice president but said he knew Gibosse “will be working with me throughout my time in SGA.”
Gibosse said he would not appeal the judicial board’s decision.
“I won’t appeal it because it’s a lot of work and it is something that should have been kind of obvious how to deal with,” Gibosse said. “I’m okay with Whyte being president and I don’t want to say I’m not okay with Epperson being EVP and I think that she will do a good job.”
Epperson could not be reached for comment as of press time.