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RIGGED VOTE? Georgetown students speak out after reparations fee passes

Two Georgetown University students filed a formal complaint alleging that there were multiple instances of misconduct in the referendum of support for a mandatory fee, the funds from which would be used to benefit descendants of slaves sold in 1838 by the school.

Rowan Saydlowski and Chris Castaldi-Moller filed the complaint, obtained by Campus Reform, which seeks to address multiple alleged irregularities in the process.

The Constitutional Council, a branch of the Georgetown University Student Association, decided to hear the case and has issued a temporary injunction preventing the GUSA Senate from confirming the results of the election, according to Saydlowski. 

[RELATED: IT'S OFFICIAL: Georgetown students approve mandatory reparations fee (UPDATED)]

The complaint and accompanying press release list three areas where the GUSA constitution, by-laws, and ethical regulations were allegedly violated.

The GUSA Senate’s Ethics & Oversight Committee Chairman who was tasked with handling some election misconduct complaints was a co-sponsor of the legislation introducing the referendum to the student body. The complaint alleges this is a “major conflict of interest.”

The GUSA Election commission failed to correctly perform its duties as reports claim the commission “illegally changed the voting threshold for success four days before the election, that they did not enforce sanctions for those on the pro-referendum side who violated election rules, that they failed to properly publicize the process for making complaints about election violations, and that they presented a voter guide that inaccurately and incompletely described the content of the referendum to voters," according to the press release.

The referendum does not propose new amendments to the GUSA constitution and is therefore“not legitimate under GUSA’s Constitution and By-Laws," according to the press release. The release also claims that “only constitutional amendment referendums are specifically defined and regulated in the By-Laws, meaning that there is no legal basis for a referendum of this sort to have taken place at all.”

The complaint states that the Election Commission tweeted on April 7 that the referendum would require 25 percent of all students to participate in the election, but that tweet was apparently deleted and replaced with a series of tweets stating the rules. One, however, s

Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=12108


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