SGA senate discusses election fraud, mural
The Student Government Association further discussed the alleged fraud in the elections during last night’s meeting at the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion.
Chief Justice Taylor Kilroy said the Election Committee is watching tapes to identify who passed out petitions to a student in front of M.D. Anderson Memorial Library.
“We were actually lucky enough to have some witnesses of people giving out petitions and flyers for a specific candidate,” Kilroy said.
Civil engineering freshman Tanzeem Chowdhury said numerous emails sent to the Election Commission have not yet been answered.
“I come from a third-world country where corruption is part of their nature,” said Chowdhury, who came from Bangladesh seven years ago.
“If the same thing happens in country like this, how is democracy going to survive?”
Chowdhury said he’d like the Senate elections to follow the same voting format used for the athletics fee referendum.
“I realize it takes more money, but you guys can’t afford fraud year after year,” Chowdhury said.
“I’d rather cut things around somewhere else to ensure a fair election. I’d rather have the right people representing us.”
SGA President Michael Harding said the election scandal does not represent what the student government does for the school.
“Each year, there is always a scandal reported about SGA,” Harding said.
“Not to say that it’s okay, but no organization is perfect.”
Harding said that Chief Election Commissioner Arsalan Razakazi is “doing the best he can with the cards that he is dealt.”
Speaker for the Senate Reyes Ramirez agreed with Chowdhury about the senate needing to fix the problems that arose with this year’s election.
“It’s unfortunate if we have a person who wants to adulterate the system, but we have to deal with it,” Ramirez said.
“It doesn’t matter how many mistakes an organization makes, what does matter is what measures they take to rectify them.”
The senate also briefly discussed what to do with the mural in the University Center Cougar Den.
Several members of the senate, including Ramirez and Honors Senator Maggie McCartney, advocate preserving the mural in its original location.
“We are in support of preserving history and keeping an important piece of art where it is,” McCartney said. “Regardless of how much money it’s going to cost.”
Other senators were concerned with the costs associated with this solution.
“If we do move it, I feel it is irresponsible keeping it where it is,” said Rani Ramchandani, speaking for Jared Gogets.
The senators eventually decided to wait until the next meeting before taking any action on the bill.