OGDEN — After a contentious race for Weber State University student body presidency and a Friday announcement that a recall vote was recommended, the current student body president on Monday announced that last week’s election totals would stand, and that candidate David Wilson will serve as student body president for the 2013-2014 school year.
“Making the decision to call the election has the best possible outcome for all involved,” said Andrew Gardiner, current student body president, who made the final decision. “To go with a recall would have had other consequences.”
Wilson won 641 votes, nearly 41 percent of votes cast. Candidate Julia Saxton came in second with 431 votes, 27.5 percent. Stuart Call got 269 votes, about 18 percent, and Aaron Burgin got 160 votes, about 10 percent. The balance of votes were abstentions or cast for write-in candidates.
Multiple candidates had filed official grievances during the presidential race. Among the charges raised were that one candidate may have been involved in creating a derogatory Facebook account to mock another; that one candidate’s supporter walked a laptop over to a student who wanted to cast a vote, breaking a rule; and that one candidate may have supplied potential supporters with fast food coupons of more value than was appropriate.
All grievances were settled, Gardiner said, except one by Saxton that charged that the election committee was not comprised of the correct number of students.
Saxton’s father, Bryon Saxton, is a reporter with the Standard-Examiner.
Gardiner said the election committee was supposed to be composed of an election chair and four students, and it was instead composed of two co-chairs and a staff adviser.
“The written legislation was very vague, and it caused a lot of confusion,” Gardiner said.
Julia Saxton’s argument prevailed, and Gardiner announced that an ad hoc committee would be set up to address better wording so mistakes could be avoided in the future.
“In future elections this won’t happen,” Gardiner said.
On Monday, Wilson addressed the assembled group, saying he was excited about serving as president.
“I think now is a great time to push forward and unite as one,” he said. “We are one body, ready to get things done and have a great year.”
Saxton said she had a good learning experience, and that her Purple Pride still burns bright.
“I won’t need a position or a title to make a difference,” she said.
The Monday meeting followed a Friday night announcement, at the Weber’s Got Talent competition, that the Student Supreme Court recommended a second vote for just the student body president seat.
Gardiner said the constitution allows the executive branch of student government the final determination, and that he, as president, was tasked with making the final choice. Gardiner said he respected the Student Supreme Court’s recommendation, but after discussion with advisers and candidates, chose a different course of action.
“After consulting with all parties involved, we came to the conclusion that this was the best plan,” he said. “Now we can move forward.”
Winners of the Student Senate seats announced Saturday are Brady Harris, legislative vice president; Alexis Marquez, Davis vice president; Tessa Diamond, Leadership vice president; Lola Moli, Diversity vice president; Trevor Annis, Service vice president; Alex Grimes, Clubs and Organizations vice president; and Courtney Ellis, Programming vice president.