Campus

Fritz Pressed to Explain Discarded Elections, VP Hiring

College Council Seeks Answers to President’s Recent Decisions

By Victoria Priola

Former Student Government senators confronted President Fritz about the thrown out SG elections and former Vice President Dr. Ramona Brown’s resignation in the company of CSI’s College Council on September 17.

During the questioning portion of the meeting, CSI Senior Bayron Torres asked Fritz why the SG election results were discarded after SERC, the Student Election Review Committee, verified them.

Fritz mentioned a letter that he wrote in regards to the spring elections that was not distributed to the public.

“There were a number of things problematic about the spring elections,” said Fritz. “There was misinformation and some of it was our fault.”

Students who were elected did not meet the requirements of the Board of Trustees, according to Fritz. They needed to be registered for six credit hours to serve as a senator–forms said three credits.

Fritz said the best way forward was to redo the election in its entirety so all would be aware of the proper requirements.

Blerim Cukovic, a junior at CSI, responded to Fritz, questioning why the president wasn’t concerned about candidates who were guilty of cheating in the past were currently running in the SG elections.

Cukovic also mentioned that since the election results were ruled “illegitimate,” the items voted on, including the referendums,  the Transportation Fee, which students have currently pay, should have been thrown out with the elections.

Fritz responded that the elections and Transportation Fee were two separate issues, and personnel decisions were what was needed to be rectified.

Fritz also mentioned that there was nothing controversial brought up about elections in the past.

Cukovic interrupted the president and repeated that evidence has been found of candidates cheating and soliciting vote. The moderator said Cukovic’s interruption halted Fritz’s response and ordered to move on to other business.

RJ Mohammad, a senior, asked Fritz why Brown was forced to resign from the VP position when the budget couldn’t afford a proper committee to replace her.

Fritz called Brown’s retirement a personnel issue that was not appropriate to speak about at the time of the meeting.

SG has been under surveillance for the past year with regards to their budgeting decisions and conduct.

Senators successfully used student funds to finance a private trip to Dublin, Ireland for 23 business students and senators last May.

During the previous election, candidates were accused of approaching students past the electioneering boundary, including entering the residence halls with their personal laptops to get votes, when election rules state that no campaigning is allowed near any computer laboratories.

Sources told The Banner that these accusations are true.

“There’s an unfortunate environment that has been created over the past few years” said Donald Hudec, CSI’s SG Coordinator.

Without SG, clubs like the Campus Activities Board, are not getting the proper funding they need to function.

CAB needs a budget of roughly $200,000 to set up events.

SG did not approve CAB’s budget last year, but they expected to get approved by candidates over the summer.

For the fall 2015 elections, the college has taken to conducting voting in vintage polls instead of online.

Two booths were set up in the Campus Center for a week so students could vote in the old fashioned way, eliminating any risk of cheating. Results for the election are to be released soon.

 

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