Update: Dillen/Machina Ticket Disqualified, Appeal Hearing Set for Tuesday Night

UPUA campaigning for the 2013 election began at 5 a.m. this morning, but one presidential ticket is already facing potential disqualification. The Board of Arbitration will meet Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in 111 HUB to rule on eligibility violations in the Aaron Dillen/Elias Machina presidential ticket that Onward State outlined late last week.

The controversy surrounds Machina who may not be qualified to appear on an executive ticket.

UPUA election code item 4.05 states that candidates must have:

Completion of two (2) semesters of residential instruction at University Park as a full-time student at the time of registration is required for the offices of President and Vice President and one (1) semester at time of registration for all other offices.

This policy effectively prohibits freshmen from running for President or Vice President.

Machina is listed in the directory as a “provisional student,” which are “students who have high school diplomas (or the equivalents) but lack the credentials required for admission as degree candidates. According to the DUS handbook, “These students enroll in classes on a space-available basis after degree candidates have been accommodated.” Machina is also listed on his Facebook page as a first year student, which means even if he did qualify as full-time student, he would not be eligible for UPUA’s highest ticket.

“I am a second-semester freshman,” Machina said in a phone interview, although he would not offer any additional comment on the matter.

“We will be acting on that,” Head Election Commissioner John Zang said when he became aware of the potential discrepancy. “It was missed during registration. Previously the policy had been as long as you were in the midst of your second semester you would be permitted to run.”

Zang has informed the Dillen ticket of the potential violation, and they will appear before the Board of Arbitration on Tuesday night to state their case. If Machina is ruled ineligible, the entire ticket will be disqualified.

“There are some interesting constitutional matters regarding membership that will come into play,” said Chief Justice Ryan Thomas.

“Whatever happens happens,” Dillen said in a phone interview. “We’ll get everything sorted out Tuesday night.”

Katelyn Mullen, the other presidential candidate who will run unopposed if the Dillen ticket is disqualified, declined to comment on the situation because of the no-campaigning restriction.

The rest of the UPUA candidates running for office can be found here.

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m: The election commission ruled to disqualify the Dillen/Machina ticket because Machina does not meet the two semester requirement. Tuesday night’s Board of Arbitration meeting will serve as an appeal hearing for the Dillen/Machina ticket.

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Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.

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