SA candidates are removed from ballot

Student Association presidential candidate Atif Qarni and executive vice presidential candidate Heather Fink were removed from the ballot Friday after a background check revealed they are not eligible candidates, SA Election Committee Chair Jeff Baxter said.

The candidates were removed because they do not meet SA constitutional requirements to run for office, Baxter said. Candidates are ineligible if they are on academic or social probation or if they are not properly registered as GW students, Baxter said.

Fink said she has been taken off the ballot because she is on disciplinary probation for throwing a container of ramen noodles out of her fifth-story window in Thurston Hall in November. She threw the container because it contained bugs, she said.

Basically, because I’m scared of bugs is the reason I can’t be EVP, Fink said.

Qarni said he was removed because of a paper mistake that resulted from an internal problem within a University department. Although he would not comment on the details of the situation, he said he is not on academic or social probation.

The Student Activities Center conducted the candidate investigation and notified the election committee Friday, Baxter said. He said he notified the candidates via e-mail as soon as SAC informed him. Jason Anthony, SAC’s coordinator for student organization management, was unavailable for comment.

Both candidates said they were informed too late to respond to their ballot removal properly.

This is a problem that I can fix, but informing us at 6:45 (p.m.) when all the offices are closed is a problem, Qarni said.

The candidates were notified after 6 p.m. Friday, when the SAC and SA offices were already closed. Fink said she received no phone calls or subsequent e-mails to explain her situation. Qarni said he knows the specifics of his case because he saw Baxter and Anthony Friday evening, he said.

Qarni said he will be placed back on the ballot once he shows paperwork to the University department.

Fink said she plans to appeal her removal, citing misinformation about her eligibility as a candidate and the irrelevant nature of the incident that put her on probation.

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