Boka reinstated as SGA president-elect

Bowling Green junior Keyana Boka hugs Campbellsville graduate student Katie Martin after finding out she will remain SGA president. The Judicial Council disqualified Boka for promoting herself using email, which is a violation of SGA, policy but the decision was overturned by Howard Bailey, vice president of Student Affairs. ” It’s so relieving. I’m glad it worked out justly in the end,” said Boka about the decision.

Herald Staff

After being disqualified from the Student Government Association’s election, Keyana Boka, the original SGA president-elect for the 2013-2014 academic year, was reinstated at tonight’s SGA meeting.

Although SGA’s Judicial Council found Boka, who is the current executive vice president, guilty of self-promotion through email, which is a violation of an election code, that ruling was overturned by a memorandum from Howard Bailey, WKU’s vice president of Student Affairs.

Cain Alvey, SGA’s administrative vice president, ran against Boka for president and came in second place.  Alvey 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 said there was an email sent out at Boka’s request by Honors College Assistant Destiny Savage that encouraged students to vote for Honors candidates.

Toward the beginning of the crowded meeting, Boka discussed the previous night’s disqualification and thanked everyone who came to the meeting.

“I greatly appreciate the support and concern that last night’s judicial council ruling had,” she said.

Seth Church, the chief justice of the Judicial Council, included a copy of the council’s opinion to disqualify Boka in the agenda. If their opinion had been upheld, Alvey would have been next year’s president. Alvey had no comment to give at this time.

During the meeting, Church read Bailey’s memorandum to the senate.  The memorandum stated that because the Judicial Council had previously ruled in a meeting on April 3 that Boka not be disqualified, she would remain the president-elect.

“The judicial council voted 3 to 1 to go forward with the election; therefore, the issue of disqualifying Ms. Boka became null and void. Once the council struck down the issue of Ms. Boka’s qualifications, the outcome of the election stands,” Bailey said in the memorandum.

Church was the original person to contact SGA President Cory Dodds about the email, as Church is in the Honors College and received it.

“She (Keyana) asked for the Honors College to be mentioned, but the reason we made the decision to disqualify is because Keyana was the only Honors College candidate running for president, so we decided that was self-promotion,” he said.

When one senator at the meeting asked why the Judicial Council’s decision had not been respected, Boka pointed out that their first decision was upheld.

“It was the second one that needed more investigation into, and that’s when Howard Bailey stepped in with that decision,” Boka said.

She also said she hopes to do her best as the new president-elect.

“I know that with this mess that has been created, that we have a long way to go in fixing this, but I have hope in SGA’s system and I have hope that our credibility and legitimacy will be reinstated, and I hope to do the best that I can with your support to do this and to maintain that,” she said.

Dodds said there is no protocol for Bailey’s memorandum overruling the judicial council’s decision.  

“Technically, Howard Bailey is our advisor, but he delegates to Charley Pride, the director of Student Activities,” Dodds said. “And so, upon appeal, that is where it finally ended up.”

While Dodds said he did support Alvey during his presidential campaign, he said he remained outside of this decision and did not get involved, nor did he have anything to do with the appeals that went on.

“Mistakes were made by everyone, and this is a good learning experience,” he said.