Committee to oversee SGI campaign activities

After alleged violations by the candidates in last year’selections a committee of non-Student Government, Inc. members wasput together by the Elections Committee to oversee this year’scampaigns.

“We have an elections committee that’s made up of five non-SGImembers…in case there are violations that occur. That committeewill oversee what the violation is and then make a decision andthen obviously from that we’ll go to Fabrice [Armand] and MaryPelkowlski,” said Andrea Andrade, the 2004 Elections CommitteeChair.

There were alleged violations in last year’s elections but theelections committee didn’t take any action against them. The2004-2005 Executive Board and Senatorial Elections packet statesthat a candidate or campaigner must commit three violations inorder to be removed from the ballot. Anything less than threeviolations is subject to a warning. The packet states: “TheElections Committee reserves the right to decide on electionviolations. A violation will result in a Violation Notice to beissued to the candidate. Three violations will result in thecandidates forfeit of his/her candidacy.”

The Torch reported on April 2, 2003 that SGI vice presidentLouis Saavedra was charged with putting up campaign flyers on thebulletin boards of fraternities who had never officially endorsedhim. There were also other alleged violations that were neverofficially reported. The elections committee could only look intoreported violations.

“The elections committee is going to review any writtenviolations that people consider violations and from that,basically, we will see if what is written is considered a violationor not,” said Andrade.

During last year’s campaign, one alleged violation wasofficially reported and reviewed. The EXCEL ticket platform, theticket that current president Fabrice Armand ran on, was chargedwith campaigning too close to the voting polls on election day.That was the only rule that the elections committee decided tochange for this year’s campaign, “The only rule change has beenthat you can’t be within a 100 feet of the poll, we don’t wantpeople too close to the polls, that’s violating,”said Andrade.Since it was the first violation that was reported officially, theelections committee gave his party ticket a warning.

After last year’s elections Armand said that he would like tosee the Elections Committee take a firmer stance should violationsoccur in the future.

“Whenever we have two tickets running, we know one group wouldbe accusing the other group of violations,” added Andrade. Therehave been rumors flying around during this year’s campaign, butnothing has been filed officially yet. “Rumors have been spreadingthat ‘this ticket can’t do this’ and ‘this ticket can’t do that.’It’s mostly rumors. If it is written down, then we could confrontthe person, ” said Andrade.