Student Government

After controversy, Harding wins runoff

Michael Harding and Craig Premjee will represent the UH student body in the 2011-2012 year as Student Government president and vice president.

The run-off election between Harding and Michael McHugh ended Thursday night with Harding receiving 64 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 1,040 votes.

“I am humbled, grateful, and honored by the opportunity to serve and represent the University of Houston student body. I look forward to working with a variety of students, faculty and administrators,” Harding said. “I would like to thank everyone who supported myself, Craig Premjee and the REDvolution Party.”

Harding’s platform included improvements to parking, campus safety, dining facilities and controlled tuition and book prices.

“We are taking office during a critical time for the University of Houston, and I am confident that the individuals elected will work hard for the campus while maintaining our well-deserved Tier One status,” Harding said.

During the run-off election his opponent, Michael McHugh, received 36 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 586 votes.

“It was a great experience. I learned a lot about my school and myself. It was a great working experience,” McHugh said. “For anyone who wants a career in politics this would be an insightful experience into what its like.”

During the main election McHugh received 30.5 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 1,129 votes, which made him eligible for the run-off.

“I have no regrets. While there are things I would have done differently, if I had not made these mistakes I would not have learned from them or my experiences,” McHugh said. “I never cheated, and I was honest the whole time.”

Students also voted at last week’s run-off election for the Senator At Large Seat #2 between Brandon Balwant and Stephen Cronin.

In the original election, 1.6 percentage points separated Cronin and Balwant. Neither candidate had the required 51 percent, resulting in the run-off.

Cronin, the run-off majority winner, received 55.6 percent of the votes, giving him a total of 845 votes.

“The run-off election was a fantastic experience. I was very happy about my success in the first election, which provided me with more energy to excel during the runoff,” Cronin said. “I believe most of my support came from IFC council fraternities on campus, I currently hold the position of IFC President, as well as my own fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Utilizing one’s popularity in UH’s Greek community, along with the support of my REDvolution party, is what, in my opinion, helped me win this race.”

In the run-off Balwant received 676 votes, 44.4 percent.

“As for the run-off election, I can’t say I am pleased as for the way everything happened. I really like Harding, Premjee, and Cronin, but I know for a fact that Harding and Premjee broke the rules not only with the IPhone voting incident, but also with the parking petition that The Daily Cougar had received numerous complaints about,” Balwant said. “I am disappointed that Michael McHugh and myself lost the run-offs, but I wish the new administration good luck in the next year.”


    • if you want to cheat and ignore the rules, go to texas tech! get somebody in the senate to begin the impeachment process for both of these idiots. the cheated.

  • so this harding guy cheats and still gets to be president? thats so busch league. STUDENT GOVERNMENT AT UH IS A JOKE. kinda ashmaed to go to this shcool not gunna lie

  • If any of you have hard evidence that there was cheating and violation going on, maybe you should submit a complaint rather than calling them cheaters based on speculation.

  • hasn't this been taken care of already? what's the story here – results of the election or that the DC is still really really unhappy with the results of the judicial hearing?

    i really can't wait to see if the DC manages to keep this "cheater Harding" theme going for the entire year.

  • I've always thought the student government at UH was useless. You never hear much from them, nothing major gets ever done. Frankly, I think UH does not care about its students at all. They keep touting the "Tier 1 Project", but if I have followed the U.S. news rankings correctly, UH has been falling in the rankings since at least 2006 every single year. Huge tuition increases despite the economic slow-down in 2008 and after-wards. Event though the education budget cuts did not come until later. There's nothing being done about the parking. UH added 2,000 or more students over the last 2-3 years, but no parking was added. All they did was adding some parking along 45, which is simply too far from UH ( I realize there are shuttle buses). The list goes on and on. We need an effective student government. This is certainly not a good start and I do think there should have been a second election. You tell people that they cheated AFTER the election. That's a complete joke, sorry.

    • So wait, you just complained about parking, said there was something done about it, then complained that it wasn't good enough? Clearly you're just not thankful. The East Garage was added in the past 2-3 years, in the next year there will be a parking garage in the Roberson Stadium lot. SGA doesn't build parking spaces. You're complaining to the wrong people. Try Parking and Transportation.

  • 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!

      • figures…i guess that's what we get for electing a frat guy to vp, especially one who cheats and lies.

      • Wow, how could you be so stupid as to post something like that? I snigger at this post. Why did I vote for this buffoon?

        Unless this isn't you?

  • I think people should quit bashing UH itself. I have worked in the admin office before and I've seen our administrators put in so much work in the university. Because it's a public institution (and under our idiotic governor Perry) and working with the Texas Government, changes do not happen over night. There are a lot of work the university is doing and if you don't like UH, the gtfo. That's what Texas tech and HCC is for.

  • As far as what Where's Harding pointed out, where the heck is Harding? I'm pretty sure he's nowhere around campus right now while many student leaders are either in their offices or in the frontier fiesta site helping.. But where is Mike Harding? I remember seeing even Prince Wilson on frontier fiesta site during spring break last year sweating and working his tail off.. But where is Harding and Premjee during this sweet ring break?? I have no respect for these two individuals.

    Premjee blatantly states on his facebook that if "you aint cheating then you ain't lying." I refuse to have these two incompetent individuals represent the student body. Michael harding has no solid credibility and after hearing him speak several times… This kid needs some good English class STAT!

  • I actually would like DC to keep reminding their student body that they won because they cheated.

    Keep it up Daily Cougar! Think keeping it real is what's up!

  • this is the worst thing to happen to UH under Tier One; our first sga president and vice president are going to be a couple of stupid cheating crooks; the administration should force them to resign

  • No surprise there. This is the 2nd time in 3 years that a Presidential candidate got away with/won by Cheating. 3 years ago..the Listserve incident….I think its pretty clear how idiotic our entire student government is. We haven't had a normal SGA as a whole since 2008. God help us..

  • I want to see what he can do. Right now I think he won't be a good president. He didn't have his stuff together at the debate and HE was not the best candidate. Hopefully he makes a speech that will let us know if he is capable of doing his job, informed about what is happening with the budget, and his plan of what his goals are while president. Looks as if he will be just a model for the school instead of a leader trying to make changes.

  • Is anyone else reminded of high school student council elections, where the person who wins isn't necessarily the best for the job, but the person who gets all his friends to vote for him?

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