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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, May 19, 2024

Op-ed: TCU Judiciary statement on TCU presidential election appeal

On Thursday, April 18, the Tufts Community Union Elections Commission voted to disqualify a candidate from the election for student body president. In response, the candidate filed an appeal to us, the TCU Judiciary, on the basis that they were denied due process, substantial information was not provided to them at the time of resolution and the consequences were unduly severe. The TCUJ voted to take up the appeal on the basis that substantial evidence supported the first two claims, but we did not find sufficient evidence for the third.

On Sunday, April 21, we conducted two hearings: one with the candidate and their campaign affiliates, and another with members of the TCU Elections Commission. The goal of these hearings was to contextualize the allegations and come to an impartial decision regarding the appeal.

Following these hearings and a thorough review of the evidence, we determined that ECOM failed to keep the candidate adequately informed throughout the investigation, did not clearly articulate the rules of the campaign to the candidates at its outset and did not investigate the candidate’s actions to a suitable degree of certainty. This ultimately resulted in what we view as an unfair process.

However, we also found that some of the candidate’s actions, substantiated by evidence and confirmed in the hearing, demonstrated a significant ethical breach. We are concerned at the precedent that would be set if overlooked by our body, and believe this must be addressed publicly by the candidate so that the voters are given the opportunity to take this matter into consideration when voting.

After careful deliberation, the TCUJ voted unanimously to overturn ECOM’s decision and to allow the candidate to continue their campaign, on the condition that the candidate release a public statement acknowledging their misconduct. The J reserves the right to uphold ECOM’s original decision if the candidate chooses not to release this statement.

Despite the conclusion of this investigation, we have full trust in ECOM to conduct a fair and just election as the race continues and hope that this candidate’s campaign will continue uninhibited. We remain committed to ensuring that the TCU student government, as well as candidates for any office, adhere to our community rules and expectations.