VP-elect Kyle MacDonald sits at his desk in the Student Government offices. He has taken over as temporary student body president. Photo by Alexander Rodriguez

Student body VP takes over as president

But only temporarily.

May 28, 2018

After two election wins in less than a semester, Jacqueline LaBayne still isn’t president.

Instead, her VP Kyle MacDonald took over earlier this month as Student Government’s head honcho — for now.

This is despite LaBayne’s first win in the spring presidential election and her second in the subsequent special election.

What’s with the wait?

MacDonald’s presidency is only temporary for one reason the special election results haven’t been finalized yet.

This can only happen once the Student Court hears out election “contestation appeals.” (See sidebar “Contestation Breakdown” below story.) After the hearing, LaBayne can serve as president.

But between summer starting and SG members leaving town, Student Court Chief Justice Isaiah Moriarity said it’s been difficult to schedule a hearing. He added that he’s aiming to hold the hearing June 16.

What happened to the previous president?

Former student body President Emily Lawless graduated, leaving an empty presidential seat, says Donald Van Pelt, who helps advise SG.

This absence, according to the SG Constitution, means current student body VP MacDonald would take over as president, Van Pelt said. 

Now, MacDonald is tasked with hiring a new VP. He told the UP that he’s currently interviewing candidates.

Check back with the UP for updates.

Contestation Breakdown

Explaining what contestations are, why they matter, and how they shape election results.

  • Contestations are complaints alleging a violation of SG statutes by a candidate and/or ticket.
  • Any student can bring a contestation to the Elections Board.
  • Following every election, the board hears out all contestations and determines if they will result in any penalties.
  • Students can file contestation appeals if they disagree with the board’s ruling.
  • The appeals are then heard out by the Student Court, who also determines if any penalties are necessary. Jacqueline LaBayne and Kyle MacDonald faced one of these punishments when they were kicked out of office for campaigning too early. This led to the spring special election.
  • A president-elect can only be sworn in once these appeals have been finalized.

Kerri Covington is the editor in chief of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @kerri_marie23.

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