By SARA BERGQUIST
In another stunning reversal of this year’s Student
Government Association elections, the SGA Supreme Court has decided Caleb
Smith, a senior marketing major, is now SGA president-elect.
The SGA Supreme Court met last Monday to discuss the
charges against Smith, who had been disqualified from the SGA president
The hearing included witnesses, evidence and arguments
from Matt Babcock, presidential candidate, and Smith’s campaign teams.
In a previous ruling from the SGA Supreme Court, Babcock,
a senior agriculture business major, had been declared SGA president-elect
pending appeals. Smith won the disputed election by 92 votes.
Dickie Crawford, chairman for the Student Organizations
Committee and dean of Student Life, said the SOC unanimously agreed Smith’s due
process rights were compromised when he was not informed in writing of the
decisions of the SGA Election Commission meetings until April 10.
The SGA Supreme Court ruled that accusations against
Smith for placing fliers on the SGA A-frames lacked evidence. However, the SGA
Supreme Court found Smith guilty of placing fliers on cars in Woodard Hall
parking lot and campaigning around the designated polling area. The SGA Supreme
Court upheld the decision for Smith’s forfeiture of the $30 deposit.
a letter to the Justices of the SGA Supreme Court explaining why the SOC
directed the SGA Supreme Court to independently review the charges against
“The SOC read all written information presented and
listened to oral statements by Smith, candidate for SGA president, Lindsay Mencacci, current SGA president, and Eric Pardue, Chief Justice of the SGA Supreme Court,” the letter
by Crawford stated.
“Tech adheres to the policy of the Supreme Court of the
United States that states, ‘When a person’s good name, reputation, honor, or
integrity is at stake because of government action, that person is entitled to
notice and an opportunity to be heard.’”
Crawford said Smith did not have an opportunity to
respond to the allegations presented against him to the Election Commission
prior to the forfeiture of his $30 deposit.
Tyler Landry, author of the appeal against Smith and a
sophomore psychology major, submitted a written statement bringing forth three
witnesses to testify to the SGA Supreme Court last Monday.
“When will we decide enough is enough?” Landry said. “Is
the $30 forfeiture enough punishment for breaking every election code rule?”
Jacquelyn Adcock, a senior biology major, was the first
eye witness brought fourth by Landry. Adcock witnessed for the campaigning
fliers on SGA A-frames and also witnessed that Smith agreed to follow the rules
of the organization during the election, Landry said. Adcock told the court she
was not part of Babcock’s campaign team.
Mencacci, a senior biology
major, was the second witness produced by Landry. Mencacci
was an eye witness of fliers placed on SGA A-frames and on cars in the Woodard Hall
parking lot. She also testified as witness to Smith’s campaigning around the
“[Smith and Babcock] were both [in the polling area] on
the first day of election when I got there,” Mencacci
said, relating back to the campaigning at the polls. “I don’t really know how
long they were there; neither of them wanted to leave so I had to step in and
say, ‘Hey, guys, that’s enough.’”
Mencacci also said she could
not recall Babcock wearing a campaign pin.
Babcock was Landry’s third witness. Babcock said he was eye witness to Smith’s
campaigning fliers placed on SGA A-frames outside of Tolliver Hall and an eye
witness of Smith’s campaigning around the polling area during election day. Babcock also clarified personal attacks on
himself within the appeals filed by Smith.
“My team had no problem with campaigning because I took a
direct role with it,” Babcock said. “I made intentions to keep quiet about this
because I didn’t want to fan a fire or add fuel to the flame, but that’s not
the case today.”
Babcock’s time frame for an appeal started at 8 a.m.
yesterday and he has 48 hours to appeal the the SGA
Supreme Court’s decision.
As of press time Babcock has not appealed the decision.
If an appeal is made the process will go back to the SOC.
Access to all evidence concerning the SGA elections is
available in Tolliver Hall, Room 212, and students are encouraged to look at
documents pertaining to the elections.