GPSC vice president of graduate school affairs election null and void


Brian Mu–noz | @BrianMMunoz

The sunset illuminates Pulliam Hall with warm light Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. (Brian Mu–noz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Emily Cooper and Jeremy Brown, Staff Reporter and Campus Editor

The previous election of Graduate and Professional Student Council vice president of graduate school affairs is now null and void, according to GPSC president and election commission chair Clay Awsumb.

Awsumb said during the latest GPSC meeting the previous special election of Alex Davenport for vice president of graduate school affairs was appealed six times, and the election commission found errors in the way that election was held.

“Members eligible to vote must have attended at least one of the three meetings prior to the election,” Awsumb said. “There was an error in the application of that rule.”


In the previous meeting members were told if they had not attended both the Sept. 4 meeting and the Sept. 18 meeting, they would be barred from voting in the election, Awsumb said. Some in attendance could have thought they were not allowed to vote when they actually could.

In the Sept. 18 meeting, three candidates were nominated for the position: Jordan Maddox, a third year law student, Abdulsamad Humaidan, a graduate student studying education curriculum and instruction and Alex Davenport, a graduate student studying communication studies.

Clay Michael Awsumb, GPSC president said the first vote count was 12 for Davenport, 12 for Maddox and three for Humaidan.

Awsumb said in the event of no one candidate receiving 50 percent or more of the votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is dropped and a revote is started.

The final vote was 15 votes for Davenport and 12 for Maddox, Awsumb said.

The special election will be voted on again in the Oct. 16 meeting. There were no new nominations, so the nominees are Maddox, Humaidan and Davenport.

Emilia Russo, a graduate student studying philosophy resigned as a Graduate Council representative. A special election was held this Tuesday for a replacement.


“I express some sorrow for Emilia not continuing on as a representative,” Awsumb said. “Ultimately the resignation is for the pursuit of her own academic career.”

Emily Vajjala, a graduate student studying communication studies, was voted in unanimously by a vote of exclamation since she ran unopposed.

Dianah McGreehan said the career development reimbursements, or the travel fund for short since that is its primary use, dropped from approximately $19,000 to $10,000.

“We were able to have that large [amount previously] because of Johnathan Flowers commitment and giving back [his] wages,” McGreehan said.

Being that Flowers gave half of his income, nearly $10,000, McGreehan said, GPSC has requested a matching gift from the alumni association.

“If they’re going to match it exactly, it gives us still that wiggle room to get back up to those numbers we had last year,” McGreehan said.

If the funding requests are met, hopefully GPSC can put more funds toward event planning, McGreehan said.

“Last year we spent about $16,169, and we are cutting that to $6,600,” McGreehan said.

Last semester, Undergraduate Student Government and GPSC proposed to split the student fees fund between USG and GPSC to 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively, as opposed to the previous split of 80 percent and 20 percent.

McGreehan said the paperwork for this was signed by both USG and GPSC members and given to Lori Stettler, but for some reason it wasn’t processed.

“We have not seen that fully demonstrated in the budget we were released,” McGreehan said. “That little smidgen will help us a lot.”

McGreehan said when the funds were reallocated this year, the split gave GPSC 22.5 percent.

“I am hoping to sit down and see what might’ve been missed,” McGreehan said. “[I hope to] meet with Lori Stettler and Lorrie Lefler to see if we might be able to readjust that.”

Staff reporter Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ecooper212.

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