The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 32.0°F | Overcast

UA Accuses 5 of Ballot Box Theft

By Katherine Shim
News Editor

The Undergraduate Association Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to request the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs to conduct hearings for five students charged with complicity in the March 11 theft of the Lobby 7 ballot box during the UA elections.

The five students named to be brought before the ODUESA are Jeremy H. Brown '94, Ross A. Lippert '93, Valerie J. Ohm '93, Ralph A. Santos '92, and Peter S. Yesley '92.

The UAC reserved "the right to recommend to the ODUESA any appropriate sanctions" to be levied against the five students implicated in the theft.

Three representatives, to include Election Commissioner Raajnish A. Chitaley '95 and two other members of the UA to be appointed by the president, will be sent to the hearings. According to the bill passed Wednesday, these representatives will have the power "to be present at all functions requiring the presence of the [UA], to call witnesses on behalf of the [UA], to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to have access to evidence relevant to" the ballot box theft.

The bill further stipulated that none of the three representatives be a UA member who was a candidate in the elections.

When asked by a council member if the list of five students implicated in the theft is complete and accurate, Chitaley said, "The situation is a delicate one. The [Campus Police] have finished investigating the theft, but since police reports are confidential, [Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C.] Smith is the only one who gets the names of those implicated. The UA has no power to investigate the matter independently. We have to take their word for it. There is no investigative body on this board."

Outgoing UA Vice President J. Paul Kirby '92 said, "This bill is just to call for a hearing -- no municipal action will be taken."

Chitaley said, "The dean's office needs for someone to be a victim. As a Council, we will send three people to represent all of us and be the victim. I'd like to stress that one ballot box alone costs over $800."

James R. Tewhey, who was scheduled to address the UAC on the theft, failed to attend the meeting.

In other business, Chitaley was elected floor leader. Hans C. Godfrey '93, Kirby, and Sahansha Mulherji '95 were confirmed as members of the UA Judicial Review Board.

Also, the UAC passed legislation redefining its Executive Committee, amended the bylaws of the Finance Board, and provided mechanisms to appropriate unallocated funds.