News

SG executive results remain elusive

POSTED MARCH 5 AT 5:44 P.M.
UPDATED 7:07 P.M.

Boos resonated within the University Center lower lounge Wednesday evening as students were once again left without an answer as to who would be the next Student Government leaders.

“Unfortunately, due to election code violations brought up against both tickets, we are unable to announce the executive board positions at this time,” said Megan Jones, head of the Elections Commission. “Until both matters are settled, the results of the election will be withheld.”

Jones asked the two tickets, Jeremy Crystal’s “All About The U” and Brandon Gross’ “Committed to U,” to meet afterwards.

She told The Miami Hurricane that the meeting would be closed and that no announcement would be made today. At the time of posting, it was unknown when the winners will be revealed.

Before making the announcement in front of a crowd of more than 100, Jones noted that 1,500-plus students voted in the run-off Monday through Wednesday.

More than 2,100 students voted in the initial polling, eliminating Dan Lazaro’s “Make It Happen For U” ticket and sending “All About The U” and “Committed to U” to a run-off.

UPDATE, 5:56 P.M: The Elections Commission will hold closed hearings this evening at 9 p.m. to discuss the violations.

UPDATE, 6:01 P.M.: Because of election code rules, both tickets are prohibited from commenting.

UPDATE, 6:14 P.M.: Gloria Cooper, the secretary for Student Government, said she has never seen such a scenario in the seven years she has worked in SG office.

UPDATE, 6:53 P.M.: John Constantinide, former SG Senate speaker and current graduate student in biology, says there are two possible code violations (see video of Constantinide explaining the situation below).

He said one violation, reported by Crystal’s campaign, is a result of Sebastian the Ibis standing with two students in the “no-campaign zone” next to the UC Rock Tuesday; all were wearing green “Committed to U” T-shirts.

Constantinide, who is not affiliated with any SG campaign, noted that he is listed as a witness by Crystal’s campaign in an Election Commission trial court hearing on this matter.

Here is the related section from the SG election codes:

“Section 5 Campaigning
5-2. Campaign Policies
3. There shall be no graphic or verbal campaigning within the square area of the UC Rock bottom of stairs, food court door closest to the polling area, post office door, and the door to the Toppel Career Center. An exception shall be banners displayed in accordance with the Election Codes. For the purpose of this rule, persons wearing graphic campaign material shall not be considered to be graphically campaigning if they are proceeding or moving by the polling place in an inconspicuous manner or occupying the seated area in the UC Rock bottom and the UC Patio. Violations are recommended at the discretion of the Election Commission.”

Constantinide said another violation was reported, denied by the commission and appealed to the SG Supreme Court for review. This possible violation also relates to Sebastian, who was walking around campus Tuesday wearing a “Committed to U” shirt.

Here is the related section from the SG election codes:

“Section 4 Finances
4-1.3. Corporate Sponsorship
Any corporate or commercial promotion in graphic campaign material in exchange for sponsorship is prohibited.”

Constantinide believes that this is a violation because Sebastian the Ibis is a copyrighted entity of the University of Miami, which is a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Florida. He also said that UM charges non-university entities for the use of Sebastian at outside events, noting that Gross’ campaign is not a university entity.

If Gross did not pay for the use of Sebastian, who is paid by the UM for all events, then that would constitute sponsorship, he said.

UPDATE, 7:07 P.M.: Constantinide further explained that if the sponsorship is cited as a violation it would count 15 points against Gross’ campaign. The UC Rock violation would be an additional five points, if so ruled. If both reports are ruled as a violations, that would total 20 points, which is the mark for disqualification.

He does not know the possible violation(s) against Crystal’s campaign.

Please check the TheMiamiHurricane.com for updates.

Rodolfo Tomarchio, reporting for UMTV’s NewsVision, contributed to this report.

Greg Linch may be contacted at gregl@miami.edu.

March 3, 2008

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Greg Linch

Former editor in chief (2007-2008)


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