IRHA says drop out must stay on ballot

Jill Pearson

Although one of the candidates dropped out, the ballot for the Inter-Residence Hall Association elections will still have two slates with Michael Mikkelsen and Stan Perdios against Paul Duncan and David Boike.

Perdios, IRHA Larch Hall representative, announced his decision to not run with Mikkelsen last week.

The election commission decided Perdios’ name should remain on the ballot because he signed an agreement to run with Mikkelsen. IRHA parliament upheld the election commission’s decision at Thursday’s meeting, voting 10-5-7 to keep Perdios on the ballot.

Perdios said he was originally angry about being left on the ballot, but he understands now Mikkelsen will not be adding his name to any campaigning materials.

“I understand the logic in keeping me on the ballot – doing so maintains the integrity of the IRHA elections and I did sign an intent-to-run form,” he said.

Perdios said he decided to not run with Mikkelsen mainly because he felt Mikkelsen hadn’t been doing his job as Wallace Hall representative correctly.

“If he can’t represent his constituents, and his own constituents hate him, then how and by what right should he be IRHA president?” Perdios said.

Mikkelsen also said he thought the IRHA election commission made the most appropriate decision in keeping Perdios’ name on the ballot.

“I am really surprised that Perdios has tried to mess up my campaign, but I don’t worry about him. . He doesn’t have any credibility because of the way he went about quitting,” he said.

IRHA Vice President Steve Skutnik, who serves as election commissioner, said he is somewhat confused by Perdios’ name remaining on the ballot.

“I understand that a difference in opinion over the interpretation of the bylaws exists,” he said. “It is my personal opinion that forcing Mr. Perdios to run despite his protests runs roughshod over his own rights.”

Duncan, IRHA president, said he fully supports the decision of both the IRHA parliament and election commission.

“Both acted in an ethical and legal fashion,” he said. “If Mikkelsen and Perdios were to win, Mr. Perdios would most likely resign, being that he has already stated publicly he has no intention of working with Mr. Mikkelsen because of difference of opinion.”

During last year’s elections, Tom Plagge, senior in physics, and Chris Benson, senior in animal science, won the executive positions despite knowing they would have to resign if Hawthorn Court decided not to join IRHA. Some IRHA members are concerned this year’s elections will be marked with the same controversy.

“The winning slate had made it known that they would be living in Hawthorn Court, which at that time was not a part of IRHA,” Duncan said. “When Hawthorn chose to not become part of IRHA, the president and vice president were ineligible to maintain their positions, due to their location of residence.”

Skutnik said he does not see many similarities between this year’s elections and last year’s election problems, other than the questionable eligibility of the candidates.

“We’re treading into a completely ambiguous element of the bylaws, unlike last year where it was simply ambiguous circumstances,” he said. “I believe charges of corruption in this election will not be an issue.”