ASMSU president constitutionality questioned, will attend hearing
Controversy continues in MSU’s undergraduate student government as the All University Student Hearing Board begins to review on Thursday whether or not current president Kiran Samra violated ASMSU’s election code during her candidacy.
College of Engineering Representative Christopher Baldwin argues Samra violated the organization’s elections code when applying to run for the position.
Baldwin said Samra’s violation came from her previous role as chair of the Undergraduate Elections Commission, the group that oversees election processes.
He says Samra did not resign in enough time before the election cycle started, which could have given her access to other candidates’ applications. Samra denied this.
The Undergraduate Elections Commission found that Samra was not in violation because the term “election cycle” was not clearly defined.
Baldwin decided to appeal the committee’s decision, taking it to the Undergraduate Elections Appeals Committee, which ultimately had the same findings.
Baldwin appealed the decision again.
Samra brushed off the claims, saying the main issue is how the code is being interpreted.
“Any person has the ability to appeal,” Samra said. “Representative Baldwin is just exercising his right.”
Baldwin is arguing the election cycle started much earlier than what the commission ruled in its initial meeting.
He said he was concerned not only about the alleged code violation, but also about the initial unanimous decision of the elections commission, which decided that Samra was not in violation of the code and that decision being upheld by the appeals committee.
“It’s really hard to be entirely impartial,” Baldwin said.
He said the elections committee could have been biased because they had previously worked under Samra when she was committee chair and chief of staff.
"(The appeals committee) was picked by Mozina, who (allegedly) said he would stop at nothing to make Kiran win,” Baldwin said.
ASMSU Vice President for Finance and Operations Mike Mozina, who was serving as interim president at the time of the special election, said Baldwin’s allegation is untrue.
“I never said those things,” Mozina said. “As far as my involvement with picking the members ... only a small percentage of representatives were eligible for this. I did not meet with them beforehand, I did not talk to them throughout (the process), I was not present at the meeting.”
College of Social Science Representative Evan Schrage said it is disconcerting for ASMSU to be dealing with a hearing like this during general elections.
“I think it’s sending the wrong message of what we want to fix with ASMSU,” Schrage said. “Students ... want to know that their student government is actually doing their job.”