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The Collegian News Blog

Cutting through the red tape

Thursday, March 13, 2008


According to several e-mails which have come into the possession of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, graduate student Ed Cutting' s petition to have the results of the 2008 Student Government Association elections thrown out has hit a snag in the road.


Cutting received an e-mail from Jennifer Jean-Baptiste, Chief Justice of the SGA, asking for his petition to resubmitted earlier this week. Here's her response to Cutting's initial objections:


"Dear Mr. Cutting,


I received a petition submitted by you this morning time stamped March 1,2008. Unfortunately you must resubmit your petition for the following reasons: 1. The manner in which you wrote the petition is more like a letter. I'm requesting a new petition void of the extra language so it can read easier. The judiciary needs to be able to clearly understand what was violated, by whom, and how. 2. All petitions submitted to the SGA Judiciary must be in the format supplied in the SGA By-Laws. According to Title 4, Chapter 11, Section 1 of the SGA By-Laws all petitions shall contain the following information: 1. The specific person(s) submitting a Petition for a Ruling, herein denoted the Petitioner.2. The specific person(s) to have allegedly violated the Constitution of the SGA, the By-Laws of the SGA or Act(s) of the SGA, herein denoted the Respondent. 3. The specific parts of the Constitution of the SGA, the By-Laws of the SGA or Act(s) of the SGA allegedly violated. 4. The Manner in which the Constitution of the SGA, the By-laws of the SGA orAct(s) of the SGA, were allegedly violated.


You may have included most of the information necessary if not all, however, the manner in which it was written isn't clear enough. I advise you to sendthe new version as soon as possible due to the nature of the petition and time constraints."


Cutting's response was short and to the point:


"If your body wishes to generate (and publish) specific pleading forms, that would be one thing and I would be happy to fill such a form out. However the SGA Constitution is quite clear -- as long as I include the four specific items (which I did) it is considered a legitimate pleading.I could have written it on a tablecloth and as long as it had this, it would be considered having met the requirement -- there actually is a famous business law case on this where some guys negotiated a contract on a tablecloth and it was considered a written contract. And remember that contract law applies here."


No word yet on whether Cutting will have his day in court (or in front of the judicial branch of the SGA), but for all post-SGA election coverage stick with the Daily Collegian.


For full interview looking back on the the 2008 SGA elections with the Chancellor of Elections, Emma Pfordresher, click here.

Photo of Ed Cutting taken during last month's UMass Repulbican Club rally for decency. Photo credit Caitlin Coughlan/Collegian
posted by Derrick Perkins, 2:44 PM

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