Letter: Controversy in SGA election

On March 27, I learned that SGA VP for Administration & Public Relations Tim Siclari was engaging in misconduct with the SGA website in an attempt to remove information unfavorable to candidate Amanda Sabia. On March 28, I learned that Siclari was a clear partisan in the election race between Sabia and Ryan Fox, having sent an e-mail to the Kappa Sigma fraternity stating that voting “for Sabia” started on April 1st, and calling for a Greek to be put in office. With clear evidence and indication that Siclari was a partisan and undisclosed campaign worker, in violation of SGA’s Direct Elections Manual, Senator Jessica Dervin-Ackerman and I filed a grievance with the Senate Nominations & Elections Committee March 28. Later that night, I was told by Siclari and SGA Executive Vice President Derek Miller, who is a disclosed member of the Sabia campaign, that I needed to withdraw my name from the grievance and lie to the student body by saying that the Ryan Fox campaign pressured me into supporting the grievance, and that the e-mail evidence was a fabrication intended to damage the Sabia campaign and increase votes for Fox. I was also told that my position as SGA’s Director of Public Relations would be in jeopardy if I didn’t withdraw the grievance that was filed. Before Senate, I learned that I was not the only one to be threatened by a Sabia campaign member with regards to an existing or possible future SGA position.

As the SGA Director of Public Relations, I was responsible for elections promotion and reaching out to students about SGA. Student outreach is something that I always felt needed to be improved in SGA and other student groups at Northeastern, and working in this area was enjoyable. Being removed from the position wasn’t something that I wanted to happen. However, I also realized that the integrity of the elections process was in jeopardy, that Siclari’s conduct was inappropriate for someone who was the SGA VP responsible for overseeing unbiased elections promotion, and that rules were being broken. So, I maintained the grievance. On March 29, at Senate, I learned that I was fired as the Senate’s Director of Public Relations.

In order to push partisan politics, Siclari decided with less than 52 hours until voting opened, he was going to remove the person who, along with a few other dedicated Senators, performed almost all the work related to elections promotion while Siclari did next to nothing. Despite doing next to nothing, when a senator stepped up to do work to promote elections, Siclari decided their work wasn’t important and that he was going to engage in actions insubordinate and not allow their work to be utilized to support elections. When I asked in Senate who was going to make sure the elections were promoted in an unbiased way, Siclari didn’t really know how to answer. I commend President Ryan Fox for wanting to “proceed in the best interest of the student body,” and asking me to continue working on elections promotion as a senator. Knowing that someone needed to coordinate elections promotion in an unbiased fashion, I agreed to continue work on promoting elections, picking up the slack for Siclari, and ensuring that work would take place to make students aware that they had a choice in the next Student Body President.

It is important that it be said that while people supporting Amanda Sabia’s campaign for President are engaging in misconduct and misguided political shenanigans, Amanda herself has always been an honest person who cares about her fellow students. When she says she did not personally endorse any misconduct, I believe her. I also know Amanda was concerned about her sorority being named in the e-mail in the grievance. I can attest that, to my knowledge, no members of Sigma Sigma Sigma have engaged in any misconduct related to this election. I also want the brothers of Kappa Sigma to know that I hold nothing against your chapter, and feel that it is unfortunate that some members of your fraternity have decided to misconduct themselves. Those who are engaging in shady politics and poor conduct in efforts to support Amanda, or those who support her only because they want to see Ryan Fox lose, owe the student body an apology. But most importantly, they owe Amanda an apology and should be ashamed of themselves.

They have brought negativity to this campaign, attempted to unduly influence the elections, and are not acting in the best interest of the student body. Some of those who are engaging in this behavior hope to seek office in Student Government when Vice Presidential elections come up in the near future. I encourage my fellow senators and the student body to not stand for this, and ensure that these people are not put into office. Instead, the Senate needs to elect an Executive Board will be made up of hard working, dedicated, honest, deserving individuals who will conduct themselves with the best interest of the student body in mind

– Matthew Soleyn senior and information science dual major.

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