DeRay Mckesson '07 has been disqualified as a candidate for the presidency of the Class of 2007 in this week's completed elections, the Orient learned late Thursday.
At issue is Mckesson's role as president of Bowdoin Student Government (BSG).
According to a statement released by the BSG Elections Committee, Derrick Wong '07 filed a complaint to the committee on Thursday morning. The statement said, "Wong asserted that DeRay Mckesson...had misused his role as president of the student body by campaigning and publicly endorsing Elizabeth Laurits."
Wong, who ran unsuccessfully against Mckesson in last spring's presidential election, was Laurits' sole opponent for the position of junior class treasurer.
"The Elections Committee decided that [Mckesson's] roles as a candidate and the president of the BSG could not be separated," the statement said. "As a result, the Elections Committee deems his actions to have been contradictory to his primary role as president of Bowdoin Student Government and requested his formal withdrawal as a candidate for president of the Class of 2007."
The committee cited a section of BSG's election rules that reads the committee "will be responsible for handling claims of violation of the election rules pertaining to candidates."
In the statement, the committee did not point to direct violations of any specific election rules. However, Vice President of BSG Affairs Dustin Brooks '08 told the Orient that the committee feared that Mckesson's endorsement of Laurits and his implicit self-endorsement could be interpreted as endorsements by the student government.
"He is the voice of Bowdoin Student Government," Brooks said.
The statement said that the committee "acted in the best interest of the student body and Bowdoin College" and "maintains full faith in Mckesson."
The Elections Committee initially asked Mckesson to withdraw his candidacy and did not take the action of disqualifying him. Mckesson verbally agreed to withdraw.
But shortly after the Orient contacted Mckesson for comment, Mckesson revoked his verbal withdrawal.
"Upon reflection, officially in an email I did not withdraw," he said. "I didn't think I violated an election rule."
Mckesson said that this reflection consisted of reading the Election Committee's statement and discussing the issue with a friend. When he realized that the committee had not banned him from running again, he decided to change his mind.
The committee then decided?apparently by telephone?to disqualify Mckesson.
The committee will be holding new elections, and Mckesson, who ran unopposed, said he will run again.
However, should another complaint be filed against Mckesson in a future election, the end result could parallel Thursday's events.
"The implication is that his candidacy is a problem," Brooks said.
A new election for the treasurer position will also be held. Both Laurits and Wong will appear on the ballot, along with any new candidates who decide to run.
The Election Committee consisted of BSG's treasurer and five vice presidents. As BSG president, Mckesson would normally have a spot on the committee, but he recused himself since he was running for a position.
Voters in the election, which ended yesterday, may have noticed a few anomalies on their ballots. During the election, candidate statements did not appear on some electronic ballots for Tommy Lakin '07 and Dan Brady '08, who ran for the vice presidencies of their respective classes. Lakin was unopposed so the committee will take no action. Brady submitted his statement incorrectly, Brooks said.