Student Government SG Generic

Election season wasn’t over until six people made a decision.

On Thursday night, the Elections Commission heard seven complaints brought forth by Impact and Inspire Party. These complaints alleged violations of the Chapter 700 Student Government Election Codes, which govern how campaigns should be run.

The commission is comprised of six members: two nominated by the Student Body president, two nominated by the Student Senate president and two nominated by the Chief Justice of the UF Supreme Court. The violations were heard by John Reddin, Amanda Matyk, Marty Ebenger, Alex Bottone, Kyle Soch and Alexis Castro.

Penalties for election violations range from a warning to candidate disqualification or political party suspension.

Inspire’s accused violations

Impact Party gained 29 Senate seats and swept the executive ticket Wednesday.

Tiffany Batten was Impact Party’s legal representation. Batten won a seat representing Graduate and Family Housing in Fall 2018 with Impact.

Impact Party alleged three Inspire Party candidates, Kristen Jackson, Nik Bindi and Melissa Uriguen, posted a profile picture announcing their candidacy on Facebook during a Feb. 12 Senate meeting.

The commission found all students were in violation of 763.2, which states candidates may not campaign during Senate meetings.

Inspire Party President Ashley Grabowski said Impact’s violation submissions were an attempt to prevent Inspire’s one-third Senate representation.

“That’s the reason we’re all in this room tonight because they don’t want us to have the power to actually oppose things,” Grabowski said.

The commission ruled that for the three violations, Inspire Party must issue a public apology on its Facebook page.

Impact’s accused violations

Inspire Party gained 21 Senate seats in the Spring election.

Grabowski and Zachary Aaron Amrose, a newly elected senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences had four complaints.

Two of the violations alleged Ian Green’s Letter to the Editor in The Alligator misrepresented facts, which is a violation of 762.11. The commission said it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the charges and dismissed them.

“The individuals are reading more into it than what Mr. Green stated, ” Batten said.

Tommy Townsend, the Impact Party treasurer, encouraged students in a GroupMe chat for a writing fundamentals class to vote for Impact Party Wednesday afternoon. The message did not have a registered political advertisement tag but the following graphic of voting locations did.

The commission fined the party $5.

An unknown Impact-affiliated canvasser also violated 763.5 outside of the Marston Science Library, which states no campaigning can take place 50 feet away from a polling location.

The commission fined the party $5.

The commission also certified Wednesday’s election results after the hearing.

Hannah Beatty is a third-year journalism major and sociology minor from Jacksonville, Florida. She began at the Alligator in the fall of 2018 as a general assignment staff writer and now serves as the student government beat reporter.