SGA decides not to contest Bailey’s decision in emergency meeting

Tyler Prochazka

The Student Government Association Judicial Council unanimously ruled at an emergency meeting Monday night that they will not challenge the memorandum that reinstated Keyana Boka as the president-elect.

Howard Bailey, WKU’s vice president for Student Affairs, wrote the memorandum after an appeal by Boka, who had initially been disqualified by the Judicial Council for an election rule violation involving self-promotion through email.


The memorandum overruled the Judicial Council’s previous decision to disqualify Boka, allowing her to remain SGA president-elect.

While the council said in the ruling they did not believe they had the power to challenge Bailey’s decision, they did express official disapproval of his decision.

“I think it is a serious infringement on our autonomy,” SGA Chief Justice Seth Church said.

The controversy, which led to Boka’s original disqualification, stemmed from an email that Boka was said to have requested to be sent out promoting SGA candidates in the WKU Honors College. 

As Boka was the only honors candidate running for president, the Judicial Council saw this as a violation of SGA election codes against using email for self-promotion.

Church said Bailey’s decision to intervene sets a bad precedent, but they can only request a reversal of his decision, which Church said he believes is unlikely.

Boka, who attended the meeting, said she saw Bailey’s decision as valid and believed the Judicial Council needed to be held accountable by a “neutral party” in the administration. She said this was especially important since the constitution now allows judicial members to remain in the council until they graduate.

“The Judicial Council was already too involved and already had conflicts of interest in the matter,” Boka said. “The three students who swayed the vote should not have been the determining factor when I was the one elected by the students.”

According to Boka, the conflicts of interest are “political,” due to who members of the Judicial Council are friends with.

“They are partial obviously to which candidate they favored more, especially after the fact of the election results,” Boka said.

The council also made a second unanimous declaration regarding the April 3 meeting, which was the second of three meetings that heard Boka’s case. They ruled that the meeting explicitly violated Kentucky’s Open Meetings law because it was closed from the public.

“I think it’s fairly clear that it was an open meeting violation,” Church said.

When asked who filed the original complaint regarding the April 3 meeting, Church declined to divulge the individual, saying he would prefer to preserve their anonymity.

Boka said she thinks the controversy surrounding her election will challenge her ability to act as the SGA president next year.

However, she said she is taking steps to put it behind her, like starting her agenda for next year.

“I’m just hoping we can all move on from this,” Boka said.