Junior Audai Shakour will be the next president of the Student Association, the Joint Elections Committee confirmed Saturday afternoon.
The JEC acquitted the winner of last week’s run-off of one of two remaining alleged violations Friday. Following the ruling, the Election Coordinating Committee accepted Shakour as the next president and the JEC officially confirmed the result Saturday.
“I’m very happy, it appears to finally be over,” Shakour said. “I’m just thankful I’ve had such a great team that has helped me through this entire process, I really want to thank them all.”
After close to a month of legal battles between Shakour and opponent Ben Traverse, the JEC found Shakour in violation of sending an unsolicited e-mail over the social Web site www.thefacebook.com. However, he was found innocent of one count of illegal campaigning in residence halls.
If Shakour had been found guilty of both violations, he would have exceeded the seven-violation limit set for presidential candidates and been disqualified from the race. Traverse, who finished second in the run-off, would have been certified as SA president-elect if Shakour was expelled.
JEC Chairman Justin Neidig said that all other candidates who were elected in the March 3 and 4 general election were also confirmed Saturday. Shakour, along with all elected senators, will take office in early May.
Shakour said he has already met with President Omar Woodard to form a transition team and will be accepting applications to fill his cabinet in the upcoming weeks.
“For the last week we’ve already been meeting with people and planning for the next couple of weeks,” Shakour said. “We hope to get all of our campaign initiatives in place by the end of the summer.”
Michelle Tanney, a representative of Traverse’s Coalition for Reform team and a senator-elect, said the runner-up will not appeal Friday’s JEC’s decision.
“We don’t expect any action to be taken,” Tanney said. “All the senators-elect are looking forward to starting to the process of next year and working with Audai.”
This article appeared in the April 4, 2005 issue of the Hatchet.