Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

BSG candidate announces "hopeful" campaign

by Kristina Livingston - Executive Editor
Tue, Jan 30th 2018 10:00 pm

Concerns over potential violations of the BSG Election Guidelines arose upon an unofficial candidacy announcement by Senator Jack Merritt, who did so at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 in the Seymour College Union. 

Merritt made speeches alongside his hopeful running-mate, Mars Lee, following words in support of his future campaign from Monroe Country Legislator Tony Micciche.

“I am not an official candidate yet, I am a ‘hopeful’ candidate,” Merritt said during an interview with The Stylus. “I spoke with the current president and [members of the student court] … we went through both our speeches, and we said, ‘is the language good?’ And they approved them. We were a little nervous about it, but we have [some] of the most powerful leaders of BSG who have said it is okay.”

In an official statement from Merritt’s communications director freshman Johnathan Goehring, Merritt’s campaign team clarified its stance regarding possible violations of the BSG election commission’s terms, specifically announcing candidacy prior to the official petitioning period mandated by BSG, as well as announcing campaign goals prematurely to this period. 

“The reason why we had this announcement today in the first week of the school semester is because we wanted to start off strong, not only for our campaign, but for the causes that we stand for,” Lee said. 

Merritt and Lee highlighted their main causes as relating to veterans, ROTC, international students and the LGBTQ community.

“We realize that the campaign doesn’t officially begin until 1,000 signatures are petitioned, but are excited to petition and begin the process of getting Jack elected,” Goehring wrote in an email.

It is currently unclear whether or not Merritt’s actions will be deemed acceptable under the conditions set by the BSG Election Guidelines. Alternatively, it is possible that no discrepancies with the guidelines will be found, relating to Merritt’s hopeful campaign. As no election commissioners have been appointed, if any issues arise regarding Merritt’s announcement prior to the pre-determined petitioning period of BSG, candidates will be discussed by the student court.  

BSG president Elisha Madison states that in order to get the ball rolling to achieve candidacy, one must simply obtain a copy of the guidelines, review and sign them, and come into possession of the necessary petitioning papers when they are made available on the first day of official petitioning. The act of petitioning takes place between set dates, this election season being February 1 until February 15. Prior to the petitioning period, no hopeful candidate is allowed to publicly announce their campaign or begin their process in any manner, lest they become violators of the established rules which they are responsible for being familiar with. 

According to BSG Senator Kelsey Delpriore, once BSG election commissioners are elected, Merritt and Lee’s hopeful candidacy announcement will likely be discussed. The proposed election commissioners are scheduled to be brought before the BSG Senate Friday, February 2. In the event that said commissioners are not appointed to their positions, the proposed lineup of commissioners may be altered and brought forward to the senate at a later meeting so that the necessary committee may be established.

“The [violations of campaign guidelines] is where we get the most hang-ups [in the election process],” Madison said. “Do your best not to do anything within two weeks of petitioning.”