Big Red ticket appeals IUSA Election Commission decision about Kirkwood

Court has 48 hours to determine who will take office



After a three-hour deliberation by the IU Student Association Supreme Court concerning allegations between the Big Red and Kirkwood tickets, no decision has been made yet on who will take office.

The IUSA Supreme Court will make a final decision within 48 hours of the hearing. The IUSA Supreme Court reviewed the case after Big Red appealed, stating that the IUSA Elections Commission was “clearly erred in its judgment, exhibited a blatant abuse of discretion, and at least one member of the Elections Commission who took part in the entirety of the proceedings had an admitted personal bias.”

“If a ticket presents petition that clearly states potential for those three categories, it becomes our duty to see if criteria was met,” said Kate FitzGerald, chief justice of the IUSA Supreme Court.

While appealing its case, Big Red focused on two key areas – e-mails sent by Adam Pozza, a former member of the Kirkwood Ticket, and the 13 alleged violations.

The Big Red ticket said the former hearings were unconstitutional because no member of the judiciary is supposed to have a personal bias. Taylor Hougland, who was on the Elections Commission, is a member of Phi Gamma Delta, the same fraternity as Joe Weis, president-elect of the Kirkwood ticket.

“If nothing else, statements are intentionally misleading, if not intentionally false,” said Andrew Hahn, vice president candidate for Big Red. “We uphold that this is a blatant abuse of discretion.”

Big Red argued that Pozza deleted six months’ worth of sent messages from presidential candidate for the Big Red ticket Luke Field’s account, containing all sent messages in regard to Big Red’s campaign along with sending e-mails to Weis and Gibson with the subject, “We gotta move!!!”

In regard to the 13 violations concerning residential programs, Kirkwood claimed the IUSA Elections Commission treated this case as any other minor case and had a trend of assigning a 10 percent fine to each violation.

“I hope they consider all the evidence in the e-mails and in the terms of the dorms where students’ rights were violated,” Hahn said. “Ultimately, we just want a fair process. We have full confidence in the decision of the Supreme Court.”

When Kirkwood members had time to speak, they said as a ticket, they had no knowledge of Pozza’s actions. They claimed that the e-mail sent, which discussed Big Red’s banners, in no way affected them because they had already made their banners and knew where they were going to

hang them.

They also argued that Big Red didn’t have enough evidence to support their 13 alleged violations against campaigning in the dorms. Several of the complaints were gathered by dorm presidents who had affiliations with Big Red,they said. The Kirkwood ticket also discussed Hougland’s address of a credibility issue during the April 16 hearing.

Kirkwood members said if Houghland had not brought this up, they eventually would have. They said many letters are formatted in the same way and they question Big Red’s credibility.

“We feel it’s very hard to defend any evidence brought against us if we don’t know who did it,” Weis said. “We don’t know what allegations were brought against us. It’s hard to confirm or deny.”

The first complaint that Big Red filed against Kirkwood stated that Pozza had illegally accessed Field’s e-mail account. After University Information Technology Services investigated, new evidence showed that an e-mail had also been sent to Weis.

The IUSA Elections Commission found no violations concerning 13 accused allegations from the Big Red ticket toward the Kirkwood ticket. These allegations were in regard to campaigning in dorm rooms, bothering students and campaigning in areas where the Kirkwood ticket didn’t have permission to campaign.

“We’re still resolved as a ticket to make sure students’ rights are fought for,” Fields said.

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