The Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) senate’s vote to reconsider Elaine O’Rourke as a presidential candidate failed with 13 nays, 11 yays, and six abstentions at Monday night’s formal meeting.
The motion to reconsider came after O’Rourke, a commuter senator, submitted one completed petition packet originally for a vice president, but then wrote in president and senator while completing the packet. The elections commission previously determined her petition packet was ineligible.
During the meeting, O’Rourke said she told students who signed her petition packet that she might be running president, vice president or commuter senator.
“When I went around petitioning for my signature, I didn’t say what position I was running for at all,” O’Rourke said. “If anyone asked, I listed either president, vice president of internal affairs or commuter. I wasn’t sure.”
Two senators, Corinne Zeni and Kaitlyn Hazelett, denied O’Rourke’s claims.
“Senator O’Rourke asked me to sign her petition, I asked her what position she was running for, and she said vice president of internal affairs,” Zeni said.
According to Jacob Cribbs, commuter senator and election commissioner, there is no legislation on if a specific packet must have been completed for president, but there are plans to add these into the SGA constitution.
“There was no way of telling when she got those signatures and switched them,” Cribbs said. “She may have put down signatures when she was running for VP, but then switched them to president and used those when those signatures may have not signed when she was running for president.”
Chadwick Burdick, vice president of campus outreach, said that similar situations have occurred in previous elections. Burdick said that himself and Logan Tupper, vice president of finance, submitted packets last spring with modified position titles.
“I literally did this last year,” Burdick said. “I ran as vice president of diversity and inclusion up until maybe a week before packets were due. I had about half my signatures before doing that and submitted my paperwork under VP of campus outreach.”
Nicole Dunlop, vice president of internal affairs, called for a roll call vote. The results of the roll call vote are as follows:
- 11 yays – VP Hernandez, VP Tupper, VP Burdick, Speaker Cochran, Senators Bash, Calvert, Desing, Dunkelberger, Hilzendeger, Lerman, Walker
- 13 nays – VP Moore; Senators Baker, Ben, Cox, Graziani, Hazelett, Kochis, Latsko, Pusateri, Rockefeller, Sciuto, Tremel, Zeni
- Six abstentions – VP Dunlop; Senators Condon, Cribbs, Herb, Kilmer, O’Rourke
After the voting period ends on April 10, the election commission will work with the rules and policies committee to draft more legislation for the SGA constitution.
SGA engaged in more discussion over its motion to approve conference grant recipients. Between six clubs, SGA approved $2,915 in conference grants.
The original motion called to approve an additional two clubs for grant funding. When SGA called for all representing clubs during a roll call, Kappa Sigma and Anthropology Sociology Honorary were not present.
With a 20-10 vote, SGA voted to remove Kappa Sigma from the motion to approve conference grant recipients. Burdick motioned to reconsider the motion after SGA President Dallas Kline said that other clubs have missed meetings in which they requested funding in the past.
“We have had other clubs miss meetings with their votes in the past and there hasn’t been perfect attendance,” Burdick said.
Burdick added that he personally helped the person who submit the request for Kappa Sigma and was not surprised that they did not see the notification from that morning to come to that evening’s meeting.
“That fact that he didn’t see the email today and didn’t know to come to the meeting at this time might also be an issue in that as well,” Burdick said.
Burdick’s motion failed with a 9-21 vote.
Tupper said he forgot to notify Anthropology Sociology Honorary via email to send a representative to Monday night’s meeting. The senate unanimously voted to table Anthropology Sociology Honorary’s grant until they were present at a formal meeting.
SGA also approved $2,491,685.65 in budgets for the 2019-20 academic year. The final budget total will fund 135 clubs. At a previous formal meeting, SGA approved a budget of $2.5 million.
“This is the closest we’ve ever gotten to the amount that we set as a senate ever,” Tupper said.
In other business, SGA approved $7,724.22 in finance requests from the following clubs:
- Phi Sigma Sigma – $400
- Recreational Therapy Club – $513.80
- Rock Power Lifting Club – $985
- Debate Society – $487.42
- Kappa Alpha Psi – $5,000
- Actuary Science Club – $338
SGA’s next formal meeting is on April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Theater.