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No changes made for notification of disqualification

Following the disqualification of presidential candidate Christian Hill in 2013, the Student Government Association (SGA) has made no changes in how notification of disqualification is handled for the 2014 elections due to the claim that last year’s disqualification was unavoidable.

“I do not think that there was anything from a processing standpoint that could have prevented the occurrence last year nor do I believe that anyone, including the individuals involved, could have foreseen the incident,” SGA Adviser Daryl Holloman said. “The important thing to remember was that there were processes and procedures in place to ensure an equitable outcome.”

Last year, Christian Hill was elected as president and later disqualified due to a violation of code of conduct when he was involved in a physical altercation with a fraternity brother, Darrell Bazemore.

Hill continued with his campaigning throughout the process of the investigation of the case. He did not disclose details of the incident nor was the issue brought up in either of the debates held on March 28 and April 1, 2013.

The day after polls opened, Hill was placed on probation from April 2 through April 28, which resulted in his disqualification of presidency for the SGA.

The incident proved to be a surprise to the voting student body and also resulted in mixed feelings from the other candidates. Many members of the student body wanted a re-election since Hill had received the most votes.

However, the constitution has no specific clause on how to handle such a case, leaving the decision-making process up to the SGA. As it stands, it is a rule that if a student is placed under probation, the student with the next highest vote will be placed in that position. This rule has not changed.

2014 election chair Samantha Schikowski said she believes that more people should have been informed about what happened with Christian Hill.

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“We are not going to allow someone to receive votes when they are made ineligible,” She stated. “As the chair, I want to ensure that everything will be made public.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Marcus Kernizan, last year’s president of SGA and a fellow brother of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity with Hill, as the victim of the altercation that led to Hill’s disqualification. The Signal regrets this error.