by Joe Harris|
The Student Court found one violation of the election rules in Darwin Butler's Student Government Association presidential campaign, but found it not severe enough to warrant another election or the disqualification of Butler as a candidate.
The violation involves Butler's campaign flyers. The flyers did not contain the source of their funding as stated in the election rules.
"I think that the Court did the right thing in their ruling," Butler said. "I'm overwhelmed, I'm joyful, and again I feel blessed to be able to take on the responsibility of the . . . student body president."
Though victorious, Butler does have concerns with the Student Court's structure.
"I think we have to seriously begin to look at the process of the Court and try to get it more formalized, but, yes, I do believe justice was administered properly," Butler said.
Carrie Mowen, the SGA vice-president-elect who filed the campaign violations grievance against Butler, said she was not surprised by the Court's ruling.
"I think they judged him very fairly," Mowen said. "I kind of knew what the outcome was going to be, but to me it was a matter of going by the rules."
Chief Justice of the Student Court Steven Bartok, said that the deadline for filing election-related grievances has passed and the issue is now dead as far as the Court is concerned.
Though Butler's flyers were found to be in violation of the election rules, Butler was found not guilty of the other two allegations Mowen brought forth to the Court. One allegation was that Butler had a comic at a recent University Program Board event speak on his behalf without the proper paperwork. The second allegation was that Butler was addressing his classes without the proper paperwork.
Bartok said that the actual form that was supposed to be filed came into question.
"We argued a little bit over how that form read, whether he was endorsing them or they were endorsing him, etc.," Bartok said.
Bartok said the Court found the endorsement forms to be needed if the candidate was using someone else's name for their campaign, not for someone else to say the candidate's name.
Bartok said the Court found a connection between Butler and the comic, but they weren't sure whether the comments made by the comic were intentionally encouraged by Butler.
Butler said that he has no hard feelings towards Mowen and that business done by this administration will follow policy and procedure.
"If Miss Mowen wants to continue to focus on our differences and she thinks she will pull me into this battle with these differences, then we will never get anything done," Butler said.
Mowen said that the grievance is behind her and that she is willing to work with Butler as long as he is willing to work with her.
"Right now [Butler's] trying to be my boss and the whole school's boss . . . he's going to try and bully me and try to tell me what to do," Mowen said. "I'm not going to stand for it."
Butler said the hearings brought forth a gap between the races on this campus and that he plans to set up a presidential advisory committee to find out why this is happening and how the races can be brought closer together.
Butler said the committee will be comprised of people from both genders and from as many cultural groups as possible.
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