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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Student Government

Students: voting was unfair

Students voiced their concerns about the way voting during the athletics-fee referendum was handled in Wednesday’s Student Government Association meeting at the Rockwell Pavilion.

Three UH students, including biology and French senior Dustin Phipps, felt the atmosphere on voting day for the referendum was biased and unfair.

“When I showed up to the polling places, I saw folks passing out propaganda right next to the ballots,” Phipps said.

He added that the flyers handed to the students did not disclose all of the facts of the referendum and only included messages for them to vote “yes.”

“Nowhere did it include that it would be $100.” Phipps said. “Tell me how that is an election conducted in good faith?”

Journalism senior Carl Gibson said he previously worked for elections in Houston, and the manner in which voting was handled on campus did not meet the same standards.

“I was shocked that people were handing out fliers near the ballots,” Gibson said.

“For anything related to the candidate, we have to do it across the street to not sway voters.”

Gibson said that making students pay the $50 each semester makes it tougher for those who are already facing economic hardships.

“I can barely afford books,” Gibson said.  “I would like to see this challenged and have this election held in a more fair way.”

Speaker for the Senate Reyes Ramirez told the students he was aware of the issues of the voting procedure for the athletics referendum.

“I received a number of people stating there was bias and pressure on those trying to vote right outside the election polls,” he said.

The Senate will begin conversations with Vice President for Student Affairs Richard Walker about the way the voting process was handled, Ramirez said.

“Hopefully we will make some solid rules in the future because I don’t think there are any guidelines when voting for a referendum,” Ramirez said. “We will be making sure there are some rules in place.”

Students who want to appeal the referendum may contact Walker, who was in charge of the referendum voting, at [email protected].

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