This past Sunday, April 28 the SGA Judiciary unanimously ruled to uphold the CSE’s decision to disqualify Schaefer Whiteaker from the SGA Executive Elections. Whiteaker, who currently holds a position as SGA Chief Justice, was running for Executive Treasurer.
Whiteaker was disqualified due to campaigning violations.
“I was elected by the students of JHU as their treasurer, but have been disqualified due to some emails that were sent out without my knowledge by a couple of students at JHU asking others for their support of me in this campaign,” Whiteaker wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “Affidavits were signed by these individuals that I had no awareness of their actions.”
Exactly a week earlier, a decision was made for Whiteaker’s appeal in which the Judiciary decided to overturn the CSE’s ruling; however, the Judiciary later elected to reevaluate their decision after realizing that evidence used in the CSE’s decision was not considered in their own.
“To ensure that we were given all the information used in the CSE’s decision, we convened with a CSE representative on Wed., April 24 to clarify what evidence was available to them,” sophomore Jonathan Ung, another Justice on the SGA Judiciary, was quoted in an email from the University.
After receiving this additional information, the Judiciary held a re-vote, at which time they chose to uphold the CSE’s decision.
The final results confirmed that the SGA 2013-2014 Executive Council will consist of Alex Schupper as President, Janice Bonsu as Vice President, Dylan Gorman as Treasurer and Kyra Toomre as Secretary.
Due to Whiteaker’s disqualification, Gorman, as the runner-up, automatically assumed the position of Executive Treasurer.“It’s unfortunate that things had to happen this way, but that is why we have rules — to protect the integrity of a fair election. If there are no consequences for breaking the rules, then following them becomes a disadvantage,” Gorman wrote in an email to The News-Letter. “I think the violations had a significant impact on the election, as suggested by the unanimous rulings by both the CSE and Judiciary.”
A letter sent by Whiteaker to the News-Letter on May 10th is provided below:
Many students have been asking for the reason of my disqualification at the conclusion of the SGA election, it basically revolves around four individuals that sent out emails encouraging their friends and fellow students to vote for me. This occurred during a campaign time where candidates cannot request any of their supporters to campaign for them. In their sworn affidavits to the justices reviewing this appeal, these four admit they exercised their own freedom of speech and not through any request or encouragement from me
Even though the JHU students elected me as Treasurer, I accept this ruling with regret and under resonant advisement that the rules need to be updated so there are no hidden interpretations to prevent this from occurring in the future.