ASG candidate violates bylaws

Following the Election Kick Off, hosted by the Associated Student Government, a complaint was filed by Melody Salcedo, ASG campus life and events representative, against Melantha Jenkins, ASG presidential candidate, for repeated voting proximity violations. The complaint was in reference to bylaw 1.6.4.1.4 which states that “no voting shall occur in the immediate presence of a candidate,” which was  interpreted by the election committee to mean 25 feet. On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Salcedo, Jenkins, committee members, those wishing to provide testimony and other interested parties gathered for a public hearing.
As read by the committee chair, Aaron Reader, the complaint filed by Salcedo stated that: “In at least three occasions, I asked candidate Melantha Jenkins to not cross over past the last booth that was close to the voting booths. In fact, I mentioned this to her before the event started … I specifically told her that she would be disqualified if she kept [doing] so. At one point she became aggressive and extremely rude when I reminded [her]. I feel it is important to bring this to the board since she violated regulations on at least three different occasions. This also brings an unfair disadvantage to the candidates who did not step over the lines and followed procedure.” Salcedo later stated in her opening statement that while she did not originally intend to report these violations, she was obligated to do so because Jenkins brought the situation to the attention of the judicial board.
Jenkins acknowledged three instances in which she was warned about the boundary stating that she was first told that the boundary was the end of the candidate tables. Jenkins said she was warned two times after that, both times being told a different location signified the boundary. Jenkins attributed the perceived aggression to her having to speak over the speakers, additionally stating that “a lot of times my strong demeanor is mistaken as the wrong way, but it does not mean that I was trying to be aggressive … I was asking permission for everything. Any person who told me about anything, I thanked them multiple times …”
Following opening statements by Salcedo and Jenkins, the floor was opened to those in attendance to provide testimony. Tradon Jordan, Jenkins’ campaign manager, stated that he and Jenkins had multiple conversations about how to avoid breaking the rules, because she didn’t want to gain any unfair advantage. Additionally, Jordan felt that less than 24 hours notice of the hearing was unreasonable and unfair given the months of work that were in jeopardy.
ASG candidates Teague Crenshaw, Lana Mack and Glenn Burnett testified stating that they felt the boundary was ambiguous. While an orientation on campaigning rules was provided to all candidates, the specifics of the interpretation of the term “immediate presence” provided at the orientation was under contention. “I can absolutely understand that people would cross it accidently, because it was unclear,” said Mack. “[Based off of the 25-foot boundary,] we should not have been on the stage at all, and everyone should be disqualified for that reason,” said Crenshaw. Adlai Gomez, ASG emerging technology and entrepreneurial representative and ASG candidate, stated that while the boundary was initially unclear, the warning sufficiently resolved this.
A verdict was issued on April 25, stating that the board found that, “It is a matter of fact Ms. Jenkins attended the Candidate Orientation where the 25 feet rule was stated; it is a matter of fact Ms. Jenkins as well as the rest of the candidates were not made aware where the 25 feet boundary was on the day of the Election Kick Off; it is a matter of fact that the 25 feet boundary was not clearly marked on the day of the Election Kickoff; it is a matter of fact Ms. Jenkins was not the only candidate to cross the 25 feet boundary on the day of the Election Kickoff; it is a matter of fact Ms. Jenkins was told once that she had crossed the 25 feet boundary on the day of the Election Kickoff.”
“The majority of the committee determined that there was not substantial evidence provided to implement a consequence. Therefore, in a majority vote, the Election Committee hereby deems there to be no consequence placed on Melantha Jenkins.”_90A1622

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