Aaron Dillen, one of two candidates originally running for president in the upcoming University Park Undergraduate Association elections, plans to withdraw from the race on Tuesday.
After initially approving his ticket's eligibility, the UPUA election commissioners disqualified the Dillen and his running mate, Elias Machina, on Monday after questions were raised surrounding Machina's academic status.
Initially, Head Elections Commissioner John Zang said Dillen and Machina planned to appeal the commissioners’ decision to the Board of Arbitration. Zang was the commissioner who approved Dillen-Machina's candidacy the first time around, and in an earlier interview he said possible issues with Machina's academic status went unnoticed.
However, late Monday night, Dillen (sophomore-rehab human services) said, in light of the hearing, he planned to withdraw from the election.
When he filed his application, Dillen said he was not aware of the stipulation that students who had not completed two full semesters of study were ineligible to run for an executive ticket.
“I just wanted to make changes at Penn Sate and make it a better place for students,” Dillen said, adding that he hopes to accomplish those goals outside of UPUA.
According to section 4.05 of the elections code, to be eligible for an executive ticket, students must be registered as full-time undergraduate students at University Park and have completed two full semesters of study. Machina is listed as a provisional student in the student directory, and according to an online handbook for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, provisional students are defined as those who are "applicants to degree status who have high school diplomas (or the equivalents) but lack the credentials required for admission as degree candidates."
Executive tickets are “jointly liable” for violations, as noted in section 4.06 of the code, John Zang, head elections commissioner said in an earlier interview.
In a previous interview, Paul Ferrera, UPUA’s deputy commissioner of administration and enforcement, said the commission came to the decision to disqualify the Dillen-Machina ticket Sunday night. The candidates were informed of the disqualification via email, Ferrera (senior-finance) said.
Read Tuesday's issue of The Daily Collegian for more details.