While Student Government Association elections and campaigning are over, the recent election is far from its conclusion.
A few students have started using #JusticeForStudents and #HoldSGAaccountable, as well as posting images on social media that purportedly show newly elected SGA president Pooja Shah and her former running mate Meredith Bell campaigning door to door at University Edge apartments.
The pictures are considered controversial evidence because they purportedly show Shah’s phone logged in to a student’s account, and per election commission rules, tablets and laptops cannot be used to ask students to vote.
A formal complaint submitted by former SGA President Doretha Benn has also mentioned Greyson Jennings, one of Shah’s running mates, campaigning in a residence hall, a practice that is also against commission rules.
The ticket consisting of Will Ellis, Sam Arnold and Dustin Gilmer posted a status on their Facebook page, Vote WSD, that spoke on the matter, saying that they will “choose to stand in protest” on the recent election along with the three other tickets.
“This election was not ran with integrity and multiple times blatant disregard for the rules was demonstrated by the winner of our presidential race,” Ellis said.
Vice President Ryan Baird, who ran with Chase Coleman and Emma Stewart as a ticket this election, also spoke on the issue.
“I feel that some people that were over the election process choose not to act on certain actions of some people,” Baird said. “I just wish the race would have been on a level field for all candidates, and I think the best thing moving forward would be to find the real answer as to why the election process went like this.”
Benn’s complaint was sent to the Student Court in order to address this issue.
“I filed a case with the Student Court because I felt as though all tickets were not being held to the same standards,” Benn said. “There was clear evidence that one ticket was blatantly cheating and nothing was done about it.”
Benn said that when infractions were turned in, they would receive replies from the election commission where rules were suddenly changed.
“Despite what people are saying, I ran a clean and fair campaign with my running mates,” the new president-elect Pooja Shah said. “I have nothing bad to say about the other candidates throughout the week and even now, but I am extremely hurt by the false statements and accusations being made about me. I just wish these individuals and their supporters would remember that I am still a person and a student.”
The student court date has yet to be announced, but a trial will be held as soon as possible concerning the matter.
“No one should break countless rules and go unpunished,” Benn said. “Honestly, it is a disgrace to the office to have someone serve in it who cheated their way there. The students deserve better.”