Student body president Mary Cooper was able to pull away in a sweeping victory in the spring election, but the unprecedented level of controversy that plagued the contest is not easily forgotten.
“It’s sad that this story became about the candidates and not the issues that students are going to be facing,” said Ian Lee, then the student body secretary and runner-up to Cooper, after the results were announced.
“Mary was able to stay out of the negativity that surrounded this election, and students connected with that.”
Cooper collected 62 percent in the runoff election, while Lee got 38 percent.
The controversy began early, and first surrounded Lee, whose candidacy violated the Student Code, opponents said, because he held onto his position in the executive branch while running.
It later evolved into several complaints against Rick Ingram, who collected the most campaign support signatures from students in recent memory — 2,945.
Cooper and Lee said Ingram engaged in “malicious and harmful” behavior against them and their campaign staffs.
The candidates provided evidence against Ingram to Andrew Phillips, chairman of the Board of Elections, who called a hearing of disqualification for Ingram.
The nearly three-hour hearing, which wavered from tense to comedic, resulted in the board deciding not to disqualify the junior, instead fining his campaign $25.