Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Ayden Maher reelected


Less than 48 hours after a student court hearing that put Christopher Puchferran back in the race to become FAU’s next student body president, the candidate decided to step down due to personal reasons.

With this decision, current Student Body President Ayden Maher will be reelected.

Puchferran had been disqualified in a unanimous vote by the Elections Board on March 24 after one of the complaints filed by current Student Body President Ayden Maher.

The complaint cited statute 321.400 of Student Government for “bribing people for votes.” Maher argued that Puchferran supporter Michael Buonaiuto, also known as Green Mann, was using his dancing skills and popularity to garner student votes for Puchferran and Birkman.

But Puchferran took this decision to the Student Court, and placed an appeal just before deadline ended on March 25.

With the Court’s decision, everything was set for run-off election between the two presidential candidates, since Maher originally received 49 percent of the student vote, while Puchferran amassed 30 percent.

SG rules mandate that a candidate must acquire 50 percent of the votes plus one to be declared winner.

Below is Puchferran’s letter to the FAU community about his resignation:

April 8, 2011

To President Saunders, FAU Election Board, Deans, Staff and the Students of Florida Atlantic University,

My running mate, Joe Birkman and I set out to run a campaign at FAU that would, “Give every student a voice and bring new life to campus.” This year’s election brought out the most student participation in the history of FAU. I want to thank my running mate, my family, my friends new and old, my amazing campaign volunteers, and the almost 1000 FAU students who voted for the Puchferran / Birkman campaign.

Sadly, due to what I believe were my opponent’s politically motivated tactics of winning at any cost, our campaign was publicly slandered and falsely accused of misconduct. As a result of these shameful and baseless attacks I have spent the last 6 weeks defending myself. My name and my integrity are two things I will not compromise. I want to publicly thank Chief Justice Nicholas Scalice and the court for their professionalism and integrity in setting the record straight concerning these charges. At the student court hearing Wednesday night, the court voted unanimously that all charges against me and my campaign were false. Unfortunately those reckless and slanderous accusations will always be in the public domain of the Internet. Consequently the University should call for a full investigation surrounding the conduct of my opponent and holding him accountable for his actions.

Government is a place to serve, not an entitlement for those who serve. From my first hand experience FAU student government seems to have it backwards. Candidates should serve with humility and integrity; not try to destroy opponents who don’t agree with them or who choose to compete against them. In my opinion the election process is compromised when a candidate tries to get ahead through intimidation or slander of others hijacking the process for weeks and weeks. My hope is that a candidate who wishes to serve this university will never have to go through what I have experienced.

Upon entering this race I never expected to be campaigning in April. However due to all of the slander and false contestations filed by my opponent the election is still not cover. I learned yesterday that the run off election has now been scheduled for April 12 and 13, just three days before I take my medical school entrance exam (MCAT). Unfortunately, this will not allow me time to prepare and effectively campaign for this election. I have been preparing for 4 years at FAU to take this test and all of my attention this coming week, 24/7, will be devoted to final preparation.

Having met some great new friends at FAU through this experience, I hope that my participation in the process will serve if nothing else to remind us all that we can do better. This letter is to serve as our concession in the race for FAU’s student body president 2011, and as notice to FAU students and faculty that my opponent’s behavior should not go unpunished. It is my conviction that the students and faculty deserve a higher standard from the student leaders representing Florida Atlantic University.


Christopher Puchferran

For the Puchferran / Birkman Campaign

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