Donovan ticket calls for disqualification of Lupstein ticket in SA elections, citing intimidation


Freshman psychology major Lwam Mekonen votes online in the Student Association executive elections Tuesday at the Holmes Student Center polling station.

By Kelly Bauer

The Standing for Every Student ticket has called for the Voice of Change ticket to be disqualified from the 2015 Student Association executive elections for intimidating voters, disrupting an academic environment and littering, among other charges.

Robert Kreml, the vice president candidate on the Standing for Every Student ticket, submitted a petition to the SA Supreme Court calling for a hearing to review actions from the Board of Elections, Elections Commissioner David White and the Voice of Change ticket early Wednesday.

Nathan Lupstein, who heads the Voice of Change ticket as its presidential candidate, has dismissed Kreml’s charges.

Charges against Voice of Change

Kreml’s petition to the SA Supreme Court contends the Voice of Change “created an unfair voting environment that violated due process and compromised the integrity of the SA executive elections” and the Board of Elections and White “completely overlooked” or did not address the charges.

Lupstein said he met with White Monday to have his ticket’s campaigning tactics approved.

Standing for Every Student “can petition it as much as they want. We’re in compliance with the policies, the bylaws …,” Lupstein said.

Campaigners for the Voice of Change ticket set up laptops set to the Huskie Link website, where students are voting this year, on tables with Voice of Change material in Neptune Central and New Residence Hall. Northern Star reporters observed campaigners encouraging students to vote at the laptops or at nearby computers Tuesday.

Kreml’s petition contends campaigners in New Hall stood “behind and alongside” students and would “watch the students’ screens as they voted,” which “created an intimidating and stressful environment … .”

The petition also contends Voice of Change disrupted an educational learning environment by campaigning “within the confines of a university classroom (that was also within 100 feet of a polling location)” through text messages. Text messages advertising the Voice of Change ticket were sent to students in a class in DuSable Hall, which led to “at least one student stopp[ing] paying attention during class in order to vote on their phone,” according to the petition.

A Voice of Change flier was also taped to a wall instead of being posted to a bulletin board, violating University Poster Policy, according to the petition. The petition contends Voice of Change fliers were present in a DuSable Hall stairway after voting started, a violation of election policy since DuSable Hall is a polling location.

Standing for Every Student is also accusing Voice of Change of littering campaign materials, with Kreml’s petition saying handouts were littered inside of Neptune Hall and New Hall.

The final charge contends Voice of Change did not have campaign handouts properly approved, violating elections policy. Kreml said Voice of Change’s handouts were not approved until Wednesday morning.

Charges against Board of Elections, elections commissioner

Ben Donovan, who heads the Standing for Every Student ticket as its presidential candidate, said “there is a problem with the conduct of the board with regard to this issue.”

The Kreml petition contends Standing for Every Student brought its charges against Voice of Change to the Board of Elections, but the board and elections commissioner “disregarded” testimony from witnesses or acknowledged violations but chose not to apply sanctions to Voice of Change.

Donovan said he thinks Greek relations have played a role in the board’s dismissal of complaints against Voice of Change. Three of the five members of the Board of Elections are fraternity brothers with Voice of Change ticket members Lupstein and Marc Calvey, the ticket’s treasurer candidate.

“We as candidates on my ticket feel that the Board of Elections are not staying neutral,” Kreml said.

Lupstein said it is “insulting” to think Board of Elections members are playing favorites based on Greek relations, but his ticket has its “doubts where certain people on the Board of Elections have their priorities, too … .”

The Board of Elections members — Senators Rachel Gorsuch, Brandon Phillips, Jake Swick and Gregory Lezon and James Forman, SA director of Advertising — were nominated and voted in through a Feb. 22 SA Senate vote.

Kreml’s petition to the SA Supreme Court contends White did not “properly notify” the Board of Elections of some complaints, making it impossible for the board to investigate. White “failed to notify” the board of the complaints about disruption to academic setting “in direct violation of [his] duties and responsibilities,” according to Kreml’s petition.

The petition also says White “did not answer attempts at communication, nor address” Standing for Every Student’s concerns about the alleged fliers in DuSable Hall.

White has not responded to requests for comment left on his voicemail.

Supreme Court actions

Kreml said the Supreme Court will review his petition and the evidence and witness testimony submitted. They will then deliberate and make a ruling, he said.