by Joe Harris|
Darwin Butler became the Student Government Association President-elect on Friday after he edged out Reformation slate candidate Jacqueline Anderson 325 to 306 in the voting.
Butler said that he was happy with the results and that the victory means a lot to him.
"I was blessed, my prayers were answered," Butler said. "I really put my heart in it. The job means something to me . . . it may be a small thing to some people . . . but to me the accomplishment means something and it stands for something worth sacrificing for."
Butler said he is ready to get going and that one of his priorities will be parking. Butler said the parking issue raises a couple of questions that he wants answered.
"It may be one student paying $10, but if you think over the whole student body or how many parking students there are, think of the percentages they may be paying - those numbers get larger," Butler said. "Now what is going on with the revenue? And is the revenue anticipated? Those are the questions I would like answered."
Butler will be joined in office by two members of Anderson's Reformation slate, Carrie Mowen and Bryan Shaw. Mowen won the SGA vice-presidential race with 446 votes. Her nearest competitor was Steven Wolfe who had 27 write-in votes. Shaw won the SGA Comptroller seat after he beat Jana Johnson 310 to 256.
Butler said he isn't worried about the differences in working with Mowen and Shaw.
"My interpretation of working together is first and foremost we're going to have to do this by policy and procedure," Butler said.
Butler said there's a hierarchy in place, and that this administration needs to follow it. Butler said once the positions and responsibilities are clearly defined, things will run smoothly.
"[I'm not] going to step out of bounds, I'm not going to be imposing . . . wills, [I'm] no tyrant," Butler said. "I don't operate like that. This is business."
Butler said that he wants to learn more about the issues affecting the current SGA administration and the student body as a whole so that he can organize the new administration.
"Right now, I just want to scratch the surface and get all the doors open so that I can use my comrades, Miss Mowen and Mr. Shaw, so I can use these people . . . as a force," Butler said.
Butler said that it is important to get student feedback on issues affecting the students. Otherwise, he said, the UM-St. Louis administration will get their way.
"[The Administration] can't do anything but benefit if we don't get any feedback from the students . . . they can impose their will on us. We have to push back," Butler said.
Mowen refused to comment on her position with Butler's administration or on her plans for the upcoming year. Shaw, Johnson and Anderson were all unavailable for comment.
The Reformation slate's Roby Bracy was elected as an SGA Representative for Arts and Sciences with 283 votes. Also representing Arts and Sciences will be Kas'Quri K. Lovan with 195 votes, David Baugher with 182 votes, and Robert Miller with 139 votes.
Jennifer O'Neal was elected representative for the Business school with 371 votes and the Reformation slate's Michael Rankins and Wolfe will represent the Graduate/Professional school with 266 and 198 votes respectively. Numerous write-ins were present in the race for representative seats.
Vice-President-elect files grievance over alleged confrontationStudent Government Association vice-presidential candidate Carrie Mowen filed a grievance with the student court against SGA presidential candidate Darwin Butler, Monday.
Butler and Mowen were elected to their respective positions as president and vice-president in results announced Friday.
The grievance covers an alleged verbal confrontation between Mowen and Butler in The Underground earlier this month, as well as alleging several rules infractions regarding Butler's campaign.
"On Wednesday, April 14, 1999, SGA presidential candidate Darwin Butler and myself exchanged words. During our discussion, Mr. Butler informed me that he works in Human Resources for the University and could Ôtake my check,'" Mowen stated in the grievance.
The grievance said the discussion made Mowen feel threatened, so she told the other members of her Reformation slate.
Reformation slate presidential candidate Jacqueline Anderson and Mowen had scheduled a barbecue to meet with voters on the following day, and Mowen said Butler, who heads an opposing slate, indicated that he was going to attend. Mowen said the decision was made by Anderson to not allow Butler into the barbecue because of the confrontation.
"If these words had not been spoken, if I did not feel personally threatened by [Butler], he would have been more than welcomed there and we would have greeted him like any other student," Mowen said. "Unfortunately due to the circumstances on Wednesday, not only did he make me feel uncomfortable, but he made the people I'm running with very uncomfortable also."
When Butler arrived at the barbecue, he was escorted out of the premises by the campus police.
Butler said there was a discussion between himself and Mowen on that Wednesday, but denies saying anything about taking her check.
"I work in a student capacity [at Human Resources]," Butler said. "[Mowen] kept going into her program board positions and everything and I just said that I work on campus too, at Human Resources . . . I don't have the power to [take her check]. I work in a work-study capacity."
Mowen said the grievance also includes Butler's campaign flyers. Mowen alleges that the flyers do not contain the source of their funding which she said is required by the election rules.
Butler said that the problem with the flyers was just a typographical error.
Mowen also alleges in the grievance that Butler addressed classes without the formal paperwork required and that Butler had a comic at Saturday's comedy jam endorse him on stage without the formal paperwork required.
"I said a few things to my classmates, I'll put it that way," Butler said. "I don't even know whether she did or not. What's the ramification of this? Do you honestly think that you are going to dismiss me over some allegations?"
Butler said that the comedy jam endorsement was unintentional. He said he knew the comic previously and through a conversation before the comedian's performance, Butler indicated that he was running for SGA president.
However, Butler said that he never told the comedian to endorse him or to say anything on his behalf.
Chief Justice of the Student Court Steven Bartok has set up an open hearing on the matter for 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at 229 J.C. Penney.
"It will basically be your typical appeals hearing," Bartok said. "All of the parties will appear; Carrie Mowen and Darwin Butler have to be there since they are the two that are specifically named in the complaint."
Bartok said Mowen will be given a chance to state her case, and then the judges will be given a chance to ask any questions of her or any witnesses she has and to examine any evidence brought forth. Then Butler will have a chance to state his case, and the same procedure will follow.
Bartok said a simple majority is needed from the judges to make a ruling, and that a ruling must be issued within seven days of the hearing.
Bartok indicated that the court may have the power to nullify the elections.
"I believe we can say that the elections need to be reheld; if we feel that [the infraction] is severe enough that the elections have been affected, we can set a time to hold another election," Bartok said.