Cubillo violates election code, is removed from ballot
Due to elections code violations, student body President Juan Cubillo has lost his chance for re-election.
HOUSE party candidates Cubillo and Kaylyn Glenn were both disqualified from the 2014 elections Tuesday morning, after a grievance hearing called for by Tyler Brown, Sarah Beth Scott and Michael Danis of the Action party.
The presidential, vice presidential and treasurer candidates from both the HOUSE and Action party were crammed into Cohen 246 along with three representatives from the SG Supreme Court, supervisor of elections Shaneeka Supal, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Michael J. Rollo, and Assistant Dean of Students X.Q. Wang.
The first complaint involved members of the HOUSE party campaigning door-to-door in North Lake Village. The second concerned violating a cease-and-desist order issued by the elections supervisor. Both actions violate the elections code.
Cubillo said in his opening statement, “We understand the charges at hand, and we did not do the things we are being charged with. We did not violate any rules.”
According to Brown and Danis, several students contacted them this past Friday claiming to have seen members of the HOUSE party handing out platform cards in North Lake Village. Brown and Danis submitted the statements of these students to the SG Supreme Court.
Cubillo said that a housing employee at North Lake told him that the Action party had asked for permission to leave platform cards in housing, and she informed Cubillo that he could do so as well.
The Action party denied asking anybody to hand out platform cards in North Lake.
Cubillo said “we never knocked on any doors … if we saw somebody in the hallways, we would give them a card.”
Kempton stated that he was not on campus at the time students reported seeing HOUSE party members handing out cards.
The HOUSE party was also charged with ignoring a cease-and-desist order regarding using the South Village pool to host a campaigning party on Saturday. On Feb. 21, the Campus Recreation Facebook page was updated to alert students that the HOUSE party could not host a campaigning event at the Sovi pool.
Elections supervisor Supal sent Cubillo an email that same day, ordering him to cancel the pool party, because it violated the elections code.
However, Cubillo, Glenn and Kempton all arrived at the Sovi pool several hours after the party was to take place. Cubillo posted a photo on the FGCU House Party Facebook page and his personal Facebook page of himself and a group of 11 students at the pool, six of them wearing HOUSE party shirts.
“Random people were just there and happened to have shirts,” Cubillo said of the people in the photo.
Kempton argued that “people showed up wearing other party’s shirts,” and said that the situation was “starting to feel like entrapment” because he claimed that Supal told him it would be fine if he and his peers went to the pool if they did not campaign.
A party representative wearing a party’s shirt is considered to be passive campaigning, according to the election rules. In the photo, Kempton, Cubillo and Glenn are all wearing HOUSE party shirts.
Cubillo accused the Action party of “throwing mud until something sticks to the wall.”
While Cubillo and Glenn have been disqualified from the 2014 elections, Kempton is still allowed to run for treasurer because he did not hand out platform cards in North Lake.
Cubillo did not answer his phone Tuesday night when called for comment. But earlier in the day, after learning of his disqualification, he posted an angry Facebook message accusing the dean of students, the SG Supreme Court justice, the editor-in-chief and staff of Eagle News, former student body President Peter Cuderman, current SG Senate President Megan Turetsky and members of the Action party of conspiring against him.