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Friday, September 29, 2023


SGA trial ends in dropped cases against PowerHouse


Shane Smith, presidential candidate for Project Red, dropped both accusations against the PowerHouse party on Wednesday. | Karis Johnson/The Cougar

Student Government Association dismissed two cases Wednesday night during a trial scheduled to discuss complaints filed by Project Red against the PowerHouse party.

One allegation questioned the complete disclosure of financial information by PowerHouse presidential candidate John Fields. Fields commissioned the creation of a campaign video by Cory Rodriguez, who is running for a senator position under Project Red. Rodriguez also took photos during the shoot, which were used by the PowerHouse candidates as a part of their campaign.

Fields disclosed financial payment for the video, but did not list the photos taken by Rodriguez. Shane Smith, presidential candidate for Project Red, filed a complaint against Fields’ party for incomplete disclosure of payment, which SGA determined to bring to trial as a Class B violation.

Leaders from Project Red and Powerhouse met to discuss the accusations prior to the trial, and Chief Justice Canyon Sanford ruled to dismiss the case after Smith dropped the accusation.


Senators and presidential candidates for both parties met in a trial Wednesday night that dismissed all complaints against the PowerHouse party. | Karis Johnson/The Cougar

Smith also dropped a second allegation concerning the locations PowerHouse is allowed to campaign. He stated that after further review the party violated no prior guidelines.

“We reached an agreement that was better for SGA as a whole,” Smith said after the dismissal.

Fields declined to comment on the results of the trial.

The trial started at 11 p.m., causing some senators to express dissatisfaction about the need for a trial at such a late time.

“It’s mildly irritating, but I was happy to serve SGA in any way that I can,” said Clint Kirchhoff, the trial clerk and academic affairs chair.

Students running for senator positions felt obligated to attend the late trial due to the possible severity of the outcome. Overall, senators seemed relieved that the allegations were dropped and the trial ended quickly.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Mohammed Khallaf, a political science freshman running for College of Liberal Arts and Social Science senator. “It shows that people can understand each other, so that if (either candidate) gets elected, we can pass more proposals.”

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