Winning candidate for UConn Foundation student director disqualified, appealing

Isabella Bachman, who received the most votes in last week's election for student director of the UConn Foundation, is appealing to overturn her disqualification for filing a late Campaign Finance Statement. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

The candidate who received the most votes in last week’s election for student director of the UConn Foundation is appealing to overturn her disqualification for filing a late Campaign Finance Statement.

Isabella 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 Financial 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; Graduate Student Senate President Anthony Patelunas received 1,184 votes (29 percent of those cast). If Bachman remains disqualified, Patelunas will be student-director elect.

Graduate Student Senate President Anthony Patelunas is the runner up for student-director of the UConn Foundation. If Bachman is unsuccessful in overturning her disqualification, he will become the student-director elect. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Graduate Student Senate President Anthony Patelunas is the runner up for student-director of the UConn Foundation. If Bachman is unsuccessful in overturning her disqualification, he will become the student-director elect. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

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 zero dollars.

“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 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.

“I'm unsure whether my appeal will be successful but I hope it is,” Bachman wrote. “I hope this not just for me, but for the student body which vested its trust in me.”

Bachman’s appeal goes to UConn Foundation Paralegal Judy Smith. In an email on Tuesday, UConn Foundation spokesperson Suzanne Morrissey said the appeal could take about a week.


Christopher McDermott is the news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mcdermott@uconn.edu.

Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at elizabeth.charash@uconn.edu.