Staff Editorial

Judicial branch tries, fails to serve fair ruling

A landmark moment in SGA history happened late Thursday night. The judicial branch, in its inaugural hearing, found presidential candidate Michael Harding and vice presidential candidate Craig Premjee guilty of setting up an illegal polling location with a 3-2 vote. However, the second verdict — reached by a unanimous vote — found the 24-hour campaigning ban given by the election commission a sufficient punishment.

The ruling treats only symptoms, not the problem. The problem here is not that an illegal polling location was used — the problem is the candidates displayed a lack of character that is simply not acceptable from people who are supposed to be representing the entire student body. The candidates were clear frontrunners in the runoff election, yet they violated election codes anyway.

One of the main reasons why the election commission ruled so harshly was that Premjee had stated he had a clear knowledge of election codes before the campaigning began, according to testimony given by Chief Election Commissioner Katie Kornahrens. Premjee’s statement to The Daily Cougar on Wednesday night stated that as well.

“Whenever someone asks me if they can use my phone to vote, I’m not going to say, ‘No, you can’t use my phone.’ I’m just going to give them my phone and walk away. I think that’s perfectly fine,” Premjee said in Wednesday’s interview.

“It may be explicitly stated like that in the election code, but when it comes down to it, an iPhone is just an electronic device that’s able to do these things.”

Harding said that while his interview was truthful, he was intoxicated when his statement was given. When asked under oath if he had lied in the interview given to The Daily Cougar, he replied it was all true.

It’s unclear why the judges overturned the commission’s decision; that will come when the official written statement is made available. What is clear, though, is our SGA candidates need to act in a manner that befits a public figure. There is no excuse for running a dirty campaign — especially not at the college level.


  • i wonder who appointed all these judges….and i wonder if the person who appointed these judges had any agenda in this election??? hmmmm!!

  • SGA is totally corrupt right now, wilson is, the senate is, harding is too. this election was handed to an incapable leader. until a powerful outsider like gogets gets in there, the culture of SGA will continue to suck!

    • gogets is before his time…hes at uh too early. we'll have presidents like him 10 yrs from now…for now we'll deal with corruption, stupidity, immature behavior from harding

  • Im ashamed to be a UH student at this moment, the "trial" was a mockery and everyone knows how the judges should have ruled. btw, "Mr. Harding, what time did you eat the sandwich?" – lee arnold

  • I agree with Sasha, the SGA is as corrupt as it is from the lack of student involvement. We have to organize to make something better, or else the cheating resume padders will just keep it as it is.

  • You'll find that Michael McHugh is in Washington D.C. discussing drug policy with senators and representatives at a conference. You’ll also find that Jared Gogets just returned from Austin after joining Chancellor Khator to discuss budget cuts, concealed handgun laws and national research university fund issues with state reps and senators. Where are Michael Harding and Craig Premjee?McHugh is the in DC area looking out for UH. Gogets is doing the same in Austin and is becoming more of an influential person within SGA than Harding and he doesn’t even hold a position in the organization! Our president-elect is a disgrace and incapable of leading. The sad part is, I believe the majority of students would rather Michael Harding and Craig Premjee stay out of UH’s political affairs because they would surely screw them up. Senators and reps surely do not want to meet with cheaters, liars and alcoholics. Regardless though, it is RIDICULOUS that Harding and Premjee treat spring break like a vacation just like any other student does. You are in SGA now guys – you are held to a HIGHER standard. Stop drinking, partying, lying and cheating and start doing some god damn work!

  • this is disgraceful; how can we let cheats like harding and premjee represent our students when we just obtained tier one status? the rest of Texas, the nation, and all of those who fought hard to make us tier one are going to view us as a joke now; i am embarassed to be a coogar right now
    ugh, i'm transferring to TTU!

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