Four freshman students’ candidacies for Associated Students of Madison were cancelled Monday because of their technical standings as sophomores.
Two of the students, Austin Evans and Trent Krupp, filed complaints with the Student Judiciary committee. The other two students have not filed complaints and names cannot be released.
Nick Kanter, commissioner of the student elections commission, made the decision to reject the candidacy of the four freshmen, citing they had over 24 credits, which in university policy deems them sophomores.
“They are technically sophomores,” Kanter said. “The University has a policy that if you have 24 or more credits they deem you a sophomore.”
Evans and Krupp said they disagree with the rejection of their candidacy because, in university policy, a sophomore student is one that has at least 24 credits and 48 grade points. When receiving Advanced Placement credits, as all four rejected candidates did, no grade points were received.
Therefore, Evans and Krupp said the students are not freshmen, because they have over 24 credits, but also do not qualify as sophomores because they do not meet the grade point requirement.
“We filed the complaint based on the fact that we are not sophomores,” Krupp said. “We don’t qualify as freshmen and we aren’t sophomores, so what are we?”
Evans said ASM did not take into consideration the grade points of the students when deciding their candidacy.
“ASM broke university policy; because we don’t have the grade points to be sophomores, their logistics are false,” he said.
Kanter said the university policy does not stipulate students must have 48 grade-points to have sophomores standing.
“The university policy is 24 credits, not 24 credits and 48 grade points,” he said. “Since grades don’t transfer, they do not get any grade points.”
A few years ago, the student judiciary committee heard a similar complaint.
“The student judiciary heard a complaint a few years ago and decided that 24 credits deemed them sophomores and therefore could not run as freshmen,” Kanter said. “So there was absolutely no way I could make any other decision.”
Kanter said this is the policy of ASM because it prevents transfer students who may actually be juniors or seniors from running as first-year students.
Krupp and Evans are upset that the policy appears to discriminate against those who accelerated in high school.
“Sophomore standing should be something that helps the kid, not hurts him,” Krupp said.
Kanter agreed that it was unfortunate the four students were unable to run.
“It has almost happened every year, and it’s unfortunate that students who do well in high school end up getting screwed over in the end,” he said.
Most simply, Krupp and Evans believe that as first-year college students, they should be able to run as freshmen representatives.
“We are freshmen,” Evans said. “This is our sixth or seventh week on campus. We should be able to run for [a] freshman seat.”