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The Student Body Supreme Court dismissed ACTION party’s appeal of the 2018 Student Government Election on Tuesday, March 13.
According to records obtained by Eagle News, a letter drafted by Chief Justice Ashley Sambrun, Associate Justice Shane Broadstone and Associate Justice Sophie Scarfo stated that the judiciary began its review of the case on Monday, March 12, after receiving ACTION Party’s appeal prior to Spring Break.
The appeal, which was sent in on March 3 by Nick Vargas, ACTION Party’s presidential candidate, claimed the SOAR Party participated in campaign activity that wasn’t in coherence with the Election Code.
On March 6, Eagle News reached out to Jalisa White, current Student Body President and President-Elect. On March 12, Eagle News received a response.
“Because of the election results not being verified by the Senate yet and a submitted appeal from the other party, I would not like to go into detail about the election to respect their right to appeal,” White said. “However, I believe the election was fair for both parties involved.”
White is expected to release a statement “addressing the student body… in the near future.”
The Supreme Court addressed each of Vargas’s reasons for the appeal, stating that they had “reviewed previous minutes from past grievances hearings that show candidates were disqualified for door-to-door campaigning,” not for passing out platform cards.
The court also addressed Vargas’s concern that the election code was unclear, saying “everything is expressed in the election code that was sent to you and should have been read and understood.”
In regards to the SOAR party’s use of student government equipment, the court said that they deemed this usage appropriate in relation to sanctions “clearly given by the supervisor of elections.” They also said that the elections results may not have matched up exactly because there were students who did not fill out their ballots for every position, resulting in different percentages.
Sambrun declined to comment while Montana Knight, the supervisor of elections, did not respond to requests for comment.
Vargas, however, said he believes his party had valid grounds for an appeal – grounds that he feels went unheard.
“We’re not going to stop until we hear justice from it. And, at this point, it’s not even about us just trying to get off. We’re at the point where we’re like, ‘OK, what is going on with our student government?’” Vargas said. “$11.50 per credit hour that we pay goes back to them, almost $4.5 million, you know what I mean? We want our money to be in safe hands, not with people who are corrupt. At the moment, we feel like everything is just in a rumble and like nothing’s being done right. They’re doing it the way they want to do it.”