At 11:58 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, ASCMC President Pro-Tempore Miles Lifson ’13 sent an email to applicants for appointed positions to ASCMC’s Executive Board announcing that the ASCMC Elections Committee would be restarting its review process for those appointed positions. Some of the positions had already been offered to applicants.
The positions in question are Chief Financial Officer, Campus Organizations Chair, Executive Secretary, Director of Student Security, Editor-in-Chief of the CMC Forum, Editors-in-Chief of the Ayer Yearbook, and Webmaster.
The ASCMC Elections Committee is composed of six permanent voting members. This year’s committee includes ASCMC President Aditya Pai ’13, Vice President Miles Bird ’13, President Pro-Tempore Miles Lifson ’13, and three elected representatives from the Student Senate. Additionally, when the Elections Committee meets to decide non-elected membership for the incoming Executive Board after spring elections, the President-elect and Vice President-elect are asked to attend the committee’s meetings in a non-voting capacity. This year’s President-elect is Gavin Landgraf ’14, and the Vice President-elect is Maddie Hall ’14.
In his email, President Pro-Tempore Miles Lifson refers to himself as the “chief ethical officer of ASCMC.” He states in his “Important Message” that, at his recommendation, “the Elections Committee has chosen to restart deliberations for all appointed positions, with Aditya Pai and Miles Bird recusing themselves from the process.” Lifson continues: “ASCMC President Aditya Pai and ASCMC Vice President Miles Bird failed to disclose pre-existing relationships with some of the candidates due to alleged membership in a private organization.”
Lifson’s email did not include any additional description of the “private organization” referenced, nor did it mention which candidates’ consideration in the Elections Committee’s initial judgments may have been conducted unfairly as a result of Pai and Bird’s membership in this organization.
However, Lifson qualified his explanation with the following stipulation: “It should be noted that I have no evidence that an actual conflict of interest occurred, and that my recommendation is a result solely of the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
In closing his email, Lifson provides that “the ASCMC appointed position selection process must be fair, impartial, and seen as legitimate in the eyes of students,” an imperative that necessitated the recusal of potentially impartial voting members and the reconsideration of all candidates. According to the email, the Elections Committee’s final decisions on the appointed positions will be announced by the end of the week.