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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

Disqualified SA Senator-elect Cohen regains seat

Former Student Association Senator-elect Matt Cohen (SoB-U) regained his “Senator-elect” status early Wednesday morning following an unanimous decision by the SA Student Court, according to the Student Court opinion released by Chief Judge Ryan Sullivan, a junior.

The Court opined that the Joint Elections Committee ruled in an “arbitrary, capricious, and irrational” manner when the election governance body disqualified Cohen, a junior, after he was elected. The Court cited Ferguson v. JEC, which allows the Court to “overturn decisions using the arbitrary and capricious standard.”

Cohen, the only independent who won in the Senate elections, was disqualified by the JEC for surpassing the $500 senatorial campaign spending-limit on a school bus rental, according to the JEC report. Cohen said that he split the $360 bus rental-fee equally among four other candidates, including Executive Vice President-Elect Brand Kroeger.

The Court opinion indicated that Kroeger and former SA presidential candidate David “Tito” Wilkinson, a junior, who ran together during the election, mistakenly indicated that they were the only ones who paid for the bus on the financial report, but split the bus fee among three other candidates, including Cohen.

“With all of this evidence, it is clear to the Court that it was Mr. Cohen who filed his financial report correctly, rather than Mr. Kroeger and Mr. Wilkinson,” stated the Court opinion. “The JEC’s action of ignoring Mr. Kroeger’s and Mr. Wilkinson’s testimony saying that they incorrectly filed their financial forms and actually did split the costs with Mr. Cohen is such an arbitrary and capricious decision that it caused them to abused their sanctioning power.”

With its decision made, the Court has lifted its injunction on the certification of the election results for the School of Business SA Senate race. Pending certification, Cohen and SA Senator Nathan Brill (SoB-U), a junior, will receive seats to represent the School of Business in the SA.

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