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Candidate for student body president fined by Student Senate

Photo by Anthony Landahl, Scout archive.

Robert White, a junior business major, was found guilty of a campaign violation by the Elections and Nominations Board of Student Senate for announcing his candidacy for student body president at an on-record Inter-Fraternity Council meeting.

The Student Senate bylaws state “candidates may not publicly campaign in a joint effort or classify themselves as a ‘ticket’ in any written or oral manner before the second candidate’s meeting.”

According to Student Senate, asking support in any way from the student body is deemed public and an individual can be their own ticket.

The second meeting was held on March 9 and White was found expressing his intention to run on March 3. His remarks were recorded on the minutes of an Inter-Fraternity Council meeting, for which he serves as vice president. 

Student Senate said White was “reminded numerous times” of dates and times pertaining to the election process. The organization also said the offense posed a disadvantage to other candidates running for Student Body Officer positions.

This was classified as a minor offense and White was fined $20. The Elections and Nominations Board voted before spring break, and it notified White on March 23. 

In his email response to Student Senate, which White forwarded to The Scout, he said the need to disclose the information within his organization was necessary, and shouldn’t be considered a violation.

“I am a fraternity president and the vice president of IFC,” White said. “I have jobs to do and I do them well. The success of my organizations are built on communication and collaboration, including my personal responsibility to make all members aware of the use of my time.”

White tried to fight the conviction and said Student Senate failed to follow its own rules by claiming it did not fully adhere to the organization’s bylaws.

“I have a passion for leadership and organizational success,” White said in a written statement to The Scout. “I realize that there will be barriers, but I have never witnessed such obvious selectivity of rules and regulations.”

Student Senate said the committee spoke after White voiced his disagreement with the vote, and the fine was not waived.

Although White does not agree with the violation, he said he will pay the $20 fine. If he does not, he would be removed from the ballot.

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