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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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VP candidate posts opinion on SGA account during debate


A vice presidential candidate accidentally posted a tweet criticizing one SGA presidential candidate on the organization’s official Twitter account during the debate on Thursday.

Rohini Sethi, vice presidential candidate for Project Red: Better Food, Better WiFi, Better Parking, accidentally posted a tweet bashing PowerHouse candidate John Fields’ campaign on the organization’s official account.

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Rohini Sethi, a vice presidential candidate, accidentally posted a message criticizing John Fields’ platform on the official SGA account during Thursday’s debate. Trey Strange/The Cougar

The current SGA administration immediately deleted the tweet and expressed that it is not the organization’s official position on Fields’ campaign.

Sethi said she was tweeting and re-tweeting on behalf of SGA as part of her position as associate marketing director. She meant to post the criticizing tweet from her personal account.

“I apologize to the student government as an organization and to the students as well,” Sethi said. “I am human. I’m not perfect. I don’t think this is in any way a reflection of how I would do my job.”

Sethi, who is running on the ticket with presidential candidate Shane Smith, apologized for the mistake but stood by her tweet’s message.

“I was trying to condense everything that had just happened in the debate in just 140 characters, and that’s honestly how I felt,” Sethi said. “When you try to do so many things, it’s hard to get anything done. I just thought (Fields’ platform) was too overarching. I did not mean to be brash or abrasive or bash them, but I did mean to be truthful.”

Fields declined to respond to the tweet.

Section five, clause six of the SGA Election Code states that a vice presidential candidate must remain for the duration of the election process.

“If either the presidential candidate or the vice presidential candidate drops out, then the entire ticket is out,” SGA chief election commissioner Jackson Crawford said.

If Smith wants to continue running for the presidency, Sethi will have to continue on the ticket for the rest of the election process. Smith said he didn’t consider dropping her, anyway.

“I believe completely in Rohini,” Smith said. “She made a mistake, and we’ve all made mistakes. That does not reflect who she is. She’s very smarty and very talented. She will do the best job in the role. I would absolutely never consider any sort of replacement.”

Sethi said she hopes that students understand the mistake and don’t hold it against her in the election, and says that she will not let it happen again. As a preventative measure, SGA has removed Sethi’s access to their social media accounts.

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