In a legislative turn of events, our last headline “Chaffe new president; Shaffer vice” is incorrect. It was decided by the IE (internal/external affairs) committee that neither Cody Chaffee nor Kara Schmidt were able to win the race due to Student Government Association (SGA) legislative rules unfollowed and grievances filed against each other. They will hold elections for SGA president again sometime in the yet-to-be-decided future.
On Monday April 15, roughly 30 people filled YU room 201. Schmidt and her running partner and current president, Graham Garfield, made a grievance against Chaffee’s campaign. Wisconsin state law for public universities SGA is that on Election Day you cannot be campaigning in the building the polls are in, or within 50 feet outside of it. Around lunch time Chaffee’s sister, Ceasyn, gave out candy in the YU and encouraged students to vote for her brother.
Chaffee filed multiple grievances against Schmidt’s campaign; though only choose at the IE meeting to address two of them. The first he wanted to address was that Garfield had used his presidential power to email all students to vote for him and Schmidt without mentioning Chaffee was running. This grievance was dismissed by the committee: 4-0-1, because Garfield had not used his presidential ability to email all students this email. He only emailed students in the majors and organizations that he was allowed as a student. The email did not have his presidential signature, and the email was fairly considered a campaign email that Chaffee would have had the full ability to have done as well.
The second grievance filed against the Schmidt campaign was on the similar subject of the one filled against him. Friend of Schmidt, Chelsey Bereiter, was wearing a “vote for Kara” shirt in the YU at 8:00 a.m. of the campaign, but was promptly told by SGA Senator Marshall Hansberry that this was against the rules, and she changed shirts immediately. Bereiter was unaware of the campaign rules and had had no other part, before or after this, in the campaign process. Schmidt later thanked everyone in a facebook status for all their work in the campaign and mentioned Bereiter in the post.
Hansberry said only two or three people may have seen Bereiter’s shirt in the YU that morning, but Chaffee said that shirt may have influenced upwards of 100 votes. SGA senator Mack Peters spoke saying that Ceasyn and Bereiter were trying to help their friends out of the kindness of their hearts. “They were both warned once that what they were doing was against the rules, and after that they both stopped,” said Peters.
The IE Committee chose to have a private vote and discussion on these grievances. Everyone except those on the committee waited outside of the room for two and a half hours. The Senate meeting, which was supposed to meet after the IE meeting, was postponed to Wednesday, since this IE commission meeting ended up being 4 hours long.
Two campus security officers were called in by an unknown source to keep an eye on the active crowd outside and for when the results of the grievances were announced.
“I brought forward the grievance because we feel that following the state law is the most important thing,” said Schmitt in an interview. “We are state elected officials, if we are going to take it seriously, we’re going to in every way,”
“It is unfortunate that a compromise couldn’t be met and as a result of grievances now the SGA will be starting the year without its official cabinet,” said Chaffee.