UPUA Election Board Arbitrates Campaign Violations
The University Park Undergraduate Association Board of Arbitration met tonight to adjudicate campaign violations alleged to have been committed by each of the presidential tickets. Adewumi-Weakland was found not guilty; Ragland-Smith was found guilty on one count and not guilty on the other. Despite the guilty verdict, however, there will be no penalties on the Ragland-Smith campaign– the Board of Arbitration felt that the relevant sections of the elections code were too vague for them to fairly render a decision.
Election Commission of 2010 vs Adewumi-Weakland
The first case of the evening was against David Adewumi and his running-mate Devin Weakland (who was once again noticeably absent). On March 26, Sean Goheen (who is running for Off-Campus Representative) witnessed a group of students running with a flag that bore the phrase ‘David Adewumi for UPUA President’. Goheen also said that, “the gist of it was that they were running for Adewumi because he was running for them.”
The crux of the argument was whether Adewumi should be culpable for actions committed by persons who were not (as far as the Board knows) members of his campaign. Adewumi, of course, thought he should not be held accountable.
Ultimately, we don’t deserve responsibility because we were not involved with planning or execution of these events.
The Board agreed with Adewumi and said he was ‘not guilty’. They cited a number of reasons for declaring his campaign not guilty, including the fact that a guilty verdict could set a precedent for sabotage and that evidence of the students associating or coordinating with the Adewumi campaign prior to the event was entirely absent.
Election Commission of 2010 vs Ragland-Smith
The second “trial” of the evening had two components. Both involved tampering with Adewumi’s campaign materials by people alleged to be associated with the Christian Ragland and Colleen Smith presidential ticket.
The first was on March 22. David Adewumi claims that on that date he saw a student wearing a Ragland-Smith shirt rip down one of his campaign posters. According to Adewumi, the “perp” then told him that “I don’t believe in we.” The Board of Arbitration found the campaign ‘guilty’ on this charge, saying that “the wearing of apparel counts as active campaigning for the candidates.” However, they were unable to levy a financially penalty on the campaign due to vague wording in the relevant sections of the UPUA elections code.
The second was on March 25. Saury Mejia, an Adewumi supporter, told the Board that hundreds of Adewumi campaign posters were removed from poster boards throughout Willard sometime between the evening of March 25 and the morning of March 26. The Board found Ragland-Smith ‘not guilty’ due to insufficient evidence.
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“As we work together to make the impact as least disruptive as possible to our students and employees, we strongly urge Congress and the president to end this impasse.”
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