Click here or scroll to the bottom of the story to see video from Wednesday’s announcement.
The “All About U” and “Committed to U” campaigns both went to bed Wednesday night still not knowing which ticket had won, yet another delay in the announcement of who would lead Student Government next year.
They ended that long day having to wait yet again – this time until 1:45 p.m. Thursday – but at least they were still in the race.
Both tickets faced possible disqualification Wednesday night due to reported election code violations, which caused the results of the run-off election to be withheld.
The SG Supreme Court penalized Brandon Gross’ “Committed to U” campaign 15 points because Sebastian the Ibis, dawning their bright green T-shirt, was within a “no-campaign” zone near the UC Rock. If they had received 20 points, they would have been disqualified, making Jeremy Crystal’s “All About U” ticket, which reported the violation, the de facto winners.
But Crystal and his running mates also faced possible elimination for not filing a second campaign finance form for the run-off
election. Because they did not have any additional expenses for the second round of the campaign, the court decided there was no violation.
If the campaign had in fact erred, they would have been assessed 20 points and therefore disqualified.
Each candidate exited the judicial reviews feeling relieved, knowing that their campaigns would survive until the announcement of the results.
An earlier ruling by the court agreed with an Election Commission decision that Gross’ ticket not face a review for having Sebastian wear a campaign T-shirt. Crystal’s ticket claimed that this amounted to corporate sponsorship, which would be a violation of the election code.
“Committed to U” sought approval for the Ibis to wear a green shirt from the Athletic Department.
“All About U” filed its complaints using a photo as evidence, with Gross telling The Miami Hurricane he felt his campaign was being “chased” by Crystal’s supporters. Crystal countered that they were only trying to properly document what they believed to be election code violations.
Gross said the violation for which they were cited – Sebastian in the no-campaign zone – was unintentional. He added that they will not appeal.
“Sometimes things happen and the court made their decision,” he said. “We played very fair, we feel, and we’re very satisfied with where we are now.”
Crystal disagreed on the point of fairness.
“It was just beyond unfair,” he said. “I think Sebastian exudes more influence than the average student.
“We reported it and the rest is history,” he continued. “We wanted to have a clean campaign.”
Greg Linch may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boos resonated in the UC lower lounge Wednesday afternoon as the university community was 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.”
News of reported violations was a surprise to “All About U” and “Committed to U,” but for different reasons.
Gross did not know that Crystal had reported a possible violation against him and Crystal did not know that his failure to file a second financial form – for the run-off – would be a possible violation.
“I was really disappointed because all of our supporters were there,” Gross told The Miami Hurricane. “I just wanted them to be able to share the moment with us.”
Said Crystal: “Most of our supporters were in class or off doing their thing, but they were kind of disappointed. We’ve waited this long, so why not wait another day?”
– Greg Linch