The judicial branch of the Student Government Association ruled that Keyana Boka, executive vice president and recent president-elect for next year, be disqualified from the election in an emergency meeting in the Senate Chambers today.
Cain Alvey, administrative vice president, said Boka violated an SGA election code regarding the use of electronic mail for self-promotion during an election. Alvey filed the appeal to disqualify Boka.
Alvey stated that an email was sent out at the request of Boka by Honors College graduate assistant Destiny Savage that encouraged Honors College students to vote for Honors College candidates.
“The effects of her actions cannot be measured,” Alvey said.
Boka’s disqualification means Alvey will now be next year’s SGA president, as he came in second place in the election.
The decision was made by SGA’s judicial council in a 3-2 vote. They ruled Boka disqualified due to an intention to self promote.
“The judicial council made their decision in accordance with the constitution bylaws and election codes of the student government,” said Glasgow sophomore Seth Church, chief justice of the judicial branch.
“All votes cast for her will be null and void,” Church stated.
Boka won the election by a 47 percent vote.
Alvey requested the disqualification of Boka in order to ensure a proper and fair election for all candidates.
“The email violated the spirit of the election rules,” Alvey said.
Boka was the only Honors College presidential candidate running in the election.
“Since she actively solicited Miss Savage twice proves she intended to self-promote,” Alvey said.
A retraction email was sent out nine hours after the voting ballots opened, but Alvey believes “a number of votes could have been cast for Miss Boka” in that time period.
According to Boka, Alvey received much of his information from other sources due to the fact that he is not an HC student himself.
Boka stated that she did not intend self-promotion or unfairness. In a previous meeting held by the judicial branch on April 2, Boka was determined a qualified candidate and so she was able to continue on to win the election.
“I won by a 47 percent vote,” Boka said. “Over 200 students, that’s not a modest discrepancy.”
Boka said she has had difficulties working with Alvey and President Cory Dodds at times in the past as executive vice president.
“There’s a lot of political background to this situation,” Boka said.
Boka stated that she felt her disqualification would not be credible.
“To say I broke the precedent of a law is a very misinformed decision,” Boka said.