Watts reinstated as WCSC president-elect

    After being disqualified, Warren College Student Council president-elect Daniel Watts was reinstated into position after WCSC President Donald Povieng dismissed the case on appeal on April 30.

    The WCSC is the appellate body that was supposed to hear Watts’ case. However, before the hearing could take place, Povieng decided to dismiss the case against Watts based on “”procedural and substantive bias and violations of the defendant’s rights to due process and breach of contract,”” thereby reversing the decision of the judicial board.

    “”The bylaws must be strictly followed,”” Povieng said in his written decision on Watts’ appeal. “”If a defendant’s rights are infringed upon, the charges must be dismissed.””

    Watts had appealed the April 18 Warren College Judicial Board decision ruling that he had violated election bylaws, which disqualified him from office. In the initial hearing, the Warren College Judicial Board, in a three-to-one decision, found that Watts had violated bylaws by campaigning on his Warren College Television show “”Perfect Vision.””

    “”This shows why I should be Warren College Student Council President. I am willing to stand up to the administrators,”” Watts said after the decision.

    Watts claimed his rights of due process and those to an unbiased hearing were violated when procedural bylaws were not followed regarding presentation of evidence, and being informed of the time, date and place of the hearing. According to Watts, Debra Westervelt, a member of the judicial board, had actively campaigned against him during the elections on behalf of his opponent. This, he claimed, meant that Westervelt was not impartial and should not have been able to rule on the hearing.

    Westervelt was unavailable for comment at press time.

    Student advocate Robert Forouzandeh, who worked as defense counsel for Watts throughout the process, agreed with Povieng’s decision.

    “”I feel in light of all the judicial problems of this case that this is the proper decision for [Povieng] to make,”” Forouzandeh said. “”We objected right from the start of the case, before, during and after, on many grounds which were not even considered by the judicial board, which shows how troubling and unfair of a hearing Daniel was given. It is good that the appellate process held up.””

    With Povieng’s decision, Watts is once again the Warren College Student Council president-elect. According to Warren College bylaws, the president-elect takes office May 8.

    [Editor’s note: Watts is associate opinion editor at the Guardian.]

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