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Student Senate meeting in Walter Hall, on Feb. 26, 2020. (FILE)

Former Student Senate executive candidate barred from candidacy, holding position for upcoming year

Editor’s note: The article has been updated to include information from Casey Hall-Jones, chief justice on the Senate Judicial Panel. 

An Ohio University Student Senate ticket was removed from the 2020-2021 election ballot Thursday after investigations found the ticket guilty of violating election procedures.

The ticket, ACTION OU, was found guilty of quid pro quo through providing appointments in exchange for support of the ticket, according to a press release from the Senate Judicial Panel. ACTION OU also provided misleading and inaccurate information to the Judicial Panel involving the existence of those mutualistic relationships.

UNITY, the other ticket on the Senate ballot, was also investigated for reported claims of quid pro quo. There was not enough evidence against UNITY to charge the ticket, Casey Hall-Jones, chief justice on the Senate Judicial Panel, said.

The ACTION OU ticket was made up of presidential candidate Ceren Ozcan, vice presidential candidate Maddie Kramer and Sam Carryer, candidate for treasurer.

All executive candidates on the ticket will be removed from the ballot, and the ticket as a whole will be disbanded. Any non-executive candidates who were formerly on the ticket will be allowed to run as independents, according to the release.

Individuals removed are allowed to appeal to the Committee on Election Appeals chaired by the Student Senate president, Lydia Ramlo, according to chapter 13 of Senate rules and procedures. An appeal may be reduced, overturned or upheld as the Special Committee sees fit.

Ozcan, Kramer and Carryer all appealed to the committee. After hearing appeals Monday, Kramer was barred from running for and holding a position in Senate’s 2020-21 body.

Kramer was found guilty of quid pro quo through providing appointments in exchange for support of her ticket. She was also found guilty of providing false and misleading information to the Judicial Panel when asked about the existence of those mutualistic relationships, according to a Senate press release.

Ozcan and Carryer were found guilty of witnessing the providing of compensation through appointments in exchange for ticket support. 

Ozcan and Carryer are not allowed to run for positions but are not removed from Senate. Both may apply for and be appointed to a position on the body next year. 

The decisions are final and not subject to further appeal.

Those decisions also leave the UNITY ticket as the only registered ticket on the ballot. The ticket is led by presidential candidate Carlo Deniro. 

Having a ballot with a singular ticket aligns with past Senate elections trends. During the 2020-19 and 2019-18 Senate elections, only one ticket ran, Hall-Jones said. 

The last election with multiple tickets on the ballot was the 2018-17 Senate body. There were originally three tickets before the FIGHT ticket was disqualified.

FIGHT was removed from the ballot after failing to submit four financial reports on time, according to a previous Post report.

If not for the coronavirus pandemic forcing the remainder of Spring Semester to be held online, Senate elections would have already taken place, and the new body would be entering office, Hall-Jones said. The virus has delayed the election process by months.

Senate decided it was undemocratic to campaign on a campus with virtually no students, Hall-Jones said. Elections will now take place on the fourth week of Fall Semester.

Some of the details for how a delayed election will work are still being decided. The current plan is to have passive campaigning on social media take place over the summer. Once students are back on campus, active campaigning will begin the first day of Fall Semester, Hall-Jones said.

Not only does the coronavirus impact Senate elections, but it also hampers the ability for Senate to operate over the summer. 

“With the absence of most of senate as no officials are elected between the terms, without proper management on the part of the interim Executive officers, it will be very difficult for Senate to not be damaged in terms of its overall operations through the summer,” Hall-Jones said in an email.


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