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Penn State Snafu in UPUA Elections Will Be Dealt With in Arbitration

Thursday, March, 14, 2013


University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) campaigning at Penn State has already met with some issues in the 2013 election season, particularly relating to the Aaron Dillen/ Elias Machina presidential ticket.  According to the Onward State university news, there is a potential for disqualification that must be resolved by the Board of Arbitration, which will meet this week for a final decision on the matter.    

In particular, the dispute is whether Machina is qualified to be on the executive ticket.  According to the UPUA election code, item 4.05: “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.” In essence, freshmen at the university may not run on the Presidential or Vice Presidential ticket. 

However, in the student directory, Machina is listed as a “provisional student,” which, according to the directory, are “students who have high school diplomas (or the equivalents) but lack the credentials required for admission as degree candidates.”  Machina’s Facebook page also states that he is a “first year student” at Penn State, which means that by his own admission, he wouldn’t qualify for a spot on the Presidential/Vice-Presidential ticket. 

According to Head Election Commissioner John Zang, “We will be acting on that. [The discrepancy] 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 initiated the hearing before the Board of Arbitration and informed both students that, depending on the decision of the Board, they could both be disqualified from running in the UPUA elections. 

In a phone interview, Dillen, the Presidential candidate, stated, “Whatever happens, happens. We’ll get everything sorted out Tuesday night.”  If both candidates are disqualified, Katelyn Mullen, the remaining Presidential candidate, will run unopposed.