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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.

  • TheCMCerFormerlyKnownAsPrince

    Private organization? That’s one way to put it…

    Seriously though, don’t a secret society have better things to do than try to rig ASCMC appointments? Hats off to Gavin and Maddie for setting them straight.

    For the curious, full email below:

    Dear Candidates,

    My name is Miles Lifson. I serve as ASCMC’s President Pro-Tempore. In that role, I serve on the ASCMC Elections Committee and act as chief ethical officer of ASCMC.

    Recently, it has come to my attention that during the deliberation for ASCMC appointed positions, 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. Because of the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest, at my recommendation, the Elections Committee has chosen to restart deliberations for all appointed positions, with Aditya Pai and Miles Bird recusing themselves from the process.

    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.

    I apologize for the inconvenience, but the Elections Committee firmly believes the ASCMC appointed position selection process must be fair, impartial, and seen as legitimate in the eyes of students. If you have any questions about this or would like to speak to us further, please do not hesitate to contact me. We will announce decisions by the end of the week.

    Sincerely,

    Miles Lifson
    ASCMC President Pro-Tempore of the Student Senate

    • meh

      Yeah I’ve heard about some ‘princes’ organization too, sounds silly in my opinion. Pretty standard for any elite education institution to have an organization of this nature, though. I agree that this was handled well by Landgraf and Hall.

      But I think you’re missing a point here. Lifson found “no evidence that an actual conflict of interest occurred and that [his] recommendation is a result solely of the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest.” I don’t know Pai or Bird well (though I consistently hear they are competent at their jobs, pretty unusual for ASCMC officers), but I know Lifson a bit and he is hands down one of the most upright, and ethical people I know. If he believed, in any shape or form, that this selection process was ‘rigged,’ than he’d say so. The recusement of Bird and Pai was based on a ‘perception,’ which admittedly harms the appointment process. Landgraf and Hall handled this well, but Pai and Bird do not seem to be at blame either, at least yet; rather, the inane gossip that surrounded this silly organization is.

      In any case, Bird and Pai are on their way out, and sounds like the situation is under control — kudos to the elections committee to a job well done (finally)!

  • Anonymous

    The Forum needs to start publishing articles on stuff besides ASCMC and our “critical social scene juncture”. It’s important, but it can’t be the be-all-end-all of a college community. C’mon guys…

  • Prince Ben Kraus

    Oh I’ve heard about this secret society. Apparently, every week they meet in the Marks Hall basement to discuss Dean Spellman’s recurring athletes foot problem.

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  • Who do you think you are?

    Some CMC Secret Society members: Pai, Miles, Hirsch, Carter, Julian, Falk, Haft, Limbrayonamaddafakka

    Recommendation: Don’t try to prop up yourselves using ASCMC, SIF, or whatever makes you feel powerful

    • Limbrayonmaddafakka

      Who you are: One of Miles’s senate groupies who unfortunately wasn’t good enough to make the cut, for the secret society or his love life
      Recommendation: Stop using anonymous posting on the Forum comments section to make yourself feel powerful

    • Hashtag

      No women in secret society. Except for Nyce. #BoysClub #NyceWasOnlyPutInThePrincesSoSheWouldntBlowTheirSecret

    • Steph Haft

      wrongo about me, sorry

  • Huh?

    Princes or otherwise, I don’t see why individuals shouldn’t be allowed to form their own clubs or “secret societies.” At least Pai had a formal process for his cronyism, unlike so many other institutions on campus. It’s ridiculous to think that the “competitive” positions on a campus where everyone knows each other will only go to the most qualified. SOURCE, SIF, ASCMC, (or any other program valuing student input), will inherently lend themselves to networking for better or for worse.