Isabella Bachman’s appeal for the UConn Foundation Student Director has been denied. Anthony Petalunas, the former Graduate Student Senate President, will therefore be the Student Director next fall.
“I am elated and very happy that I won,” Petalunas said.
Before disqualification, Bachman received 1,225 votes–30 percent of those cast–according to an email shared with the five candidates on Monday. Bachman was disqualified for submitting her Campaign Finance Statement after the 12 p.m. deadline on March 3.
Bachman said she submitted the statement only one hour after the deadline.
The race was close; initially Petalunas was the runner-up with 1,184 votes, about 29 percent of those cast.
Bachman said she spent no money on her campaign, and that the language of the campaign packet did not state unambiguously until the very last page that candidates must file a description of their campaign expenditures even if it totaled $0.
“The election packet only mentioned the requirement for submitting even a $0 statement on the final page: the actual budget form,” Bachman wrote in an email Wednesday night. “There was no need to check the form because the rules did not compel me to use it.”
Bachman added in the email Wednesday that there were additional extenuating circumstances but did not offer specifics.
“I had a very unfortunate event occur which greatly affected my focus on school and the election,” Bachman wrote.
The student director is a non-voting member on the foundation’s board of directors who represents students at university and foundation functions, as well as helping with fundraising, according to the candidates’ election packet.
Petalunas is the first graduate student to represent the UConn student body since 2009, according to email correspondences he had with Judy Smith, the foundation paralegal handling the election.
“I think I will bring a different perspective to the Foundation board,” Petalunas said. “As Graduate Student Senate president, I worked very closely with former USG President Rachel Conboy and this past year I have worked extensively with current USG President Dan Byrd. I look forward to working with the undergraduate student body this year.”
Bachman could not be reached for an updated comment at the time of publication.
Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.