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Fassi still unopposed: appeal denied

UNF Student Union Courtroom
UNF Student Union Courtroom

An appeal denied on Feb. 27 makes it more likely that only one name will appear on the Spring ballot for Student Body President: incumbent Carlo Fassi.

Eric Armetta and Jeffrey Young were disqualified from the presidential race for not attending all required Senate meetings by the Feb. 19 deadline. They appealed on Feb. 22.

They presented the appeal to the Elections Primary Court on Wed. 27, claiming extenuating circumstances, but the appeal was denied.

The presiding associate justices included Bennet Smith, Ryan DeWitt, and Sam Hackney.

Attorney General and prosecutor Joseph Turner said neither student had attended a senate meeting before the deadline, although they were given three opportunities to do so.

“This is a classic example of too little, too late,” Turner said.

The last Senate meeting the candidates could have attended was on Feb. 11. They were given the option to appeal by Feb. 18 and waited until three hours before the deadline to submit.

“There have been many first-comers to SG who have met the requirement,” Turner said.

Armetta claimed that he and Young had extenuating circumstances, and could not attend Monday Senate meetings because of their work schedules.

He said they did not turn in their declaration of intent until the Friday before the Feb. 19 deadline, so were unable to attend any of the required Senate meetings. He said the pair fulfilled all other requirements.

The prosecution called two witnesses to the stand.

Zak Varshovi, Senate President, said he did not see the two candidates at any senate meetings until the Feb. 25 meeting. Varshovi said they did not try to contact him about the senate meetings.

The second witness was Corey Amiria, the Elections Chairman.

Amira confirmed that the first time either of the candidates contacted him about their failure to attend a senate meeting was on Feb 18, a week after their last opportunity to do so.

During this meeting, Amira said the only explanation Armetta gave was that he was unaware of the requirement. Amira said neither candidate mentioned they worked during Senate meetings.

Armetta attempted to file an appeal before Feb. 22. It was denied because, while it was submitted for both candidates, only Armetta gave his reason for missing the meeting.

Armetta and Young did not call any witnesses but offered evidence from their employers vouching for their whereabouts at the times of the senate meetings.

Turner closed by reminding the court that Student Government follows Black’s Law, which defines extenuating circumstances as unusual and unpredictable events. He said work is neither unusual nor unpredictable.

Young closed by asking the court for leniency. He hoped for an opposed election, saying that the university deserved a fair, competitive election.

After a five-minute recess, the associate judges denied the appeal because Armetta and Young failed to meet the proper deadlines.

On Feb. 27, Armetta posted on Facebook, “Equal opportunity and equal access has been attack at UNF by its own government. The fight has just started. I will not back down. The students need to be informed.”

The candidates appealed again on Feb. 28.

“Their justification of not accepting my appeal was very weak. Two of the justices only said about three words,” Armetta said.

The hearing will take place on March 1 at 5 p.m. before the Elections Supreme Court. This is the last appeal Armetta and Young can make.

Email Sarah Ricevuto at [email protected]

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