Elections code still uncertain

By Lindsay Carroll

‘ ‘ ‘ Student Government Board member Lacee Ecker filed a complaint to the SGB elections… ‘ ‘ ‘ Student Government Board member Lacee Ecker filed a complaint to the SGB elections committee on Tuesday, charging that the One Vision One Voice slate violated two elections codes that prohibit SGB board and committee members from endorsing candidates. ‘ ‘ ‘ Code 208.01 states that ‘the Student Government Board as a whole shall not officially endorse a candidate ‘hellip; under no circumstances should any campaign materials of any candidate include an official endorsement of a current Board member or president.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ The second code states that ‘committees of the Student Government Board shall not endorse or actively support a candidate.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ SGB governmental relations committee chair Pete Hammerle submitted a statement of support to the One Vision One Voice Web site. ‘ ‘ ‘ The statement said, ‘As a student who has held many leadership positions throughout my four years at Pitt, I have come to understand what it takes to be a good leader on this campus ‘hellip; I encourage all of my fellow students to make the right choice on Nov. 20 and vote One Vision One Voice.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Pat Moroney, the elections board chair, said if the elections committee finds One Vision One Voice guilty, they can withhold the slate’s election deposit or disqualify them from the election. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I think the issue is what defines a committee chair speaking in a representative capacity for their committee,’ said Moroney. ‘ ‘ ‘ On Wednesday, One Vision One Voice said in a press release that it disputed the charges. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Mr. Hammerle made his comment as an individual committee chairman, not to represent his full committee,’ said the release. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Ecker’s claim goes as far as to say he does, which discredits the voice and work of the governmental relations committee as a whole.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Ecker disagreed. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Mr. Hammerle has a paid position from Student Government Board,’ said Ecker. ‘His position as the committee chair is the only recognized position in the governmental relations committee ‘hellip; He is the spokesperson on behalf of that committee.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Hammerle said that the assistant governmental relations chair is a recognized position, as well. ‘ ‘ ‘ As of press time, Ecker’s status on her Facebook page said, ‘Lacee Ecker is voting Students First for SGB!’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘My Facebook profile is not official Student Government Board business,’ said Ecker. ‘ ‘ ‘ Current board members Amanda Reed and Nila Devanath form the Students First slate with Charlie Shull. ‘ ‘ ‘ Ecker also left a supportive comment on the Students First Facebook group. She said she thinks that Facebook groups of slates do not qualify as official SGB business and that Pete Hammerle had released his statement along with title of governmental relations chair. ‘ ‘ ‘ Ecker said that her comment on the Facebook group did not include her title as SGB member. She said Hammerle was ‘using his position to provide credibility for a quote in support of the candidate.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ One Vision One Voice chose to remove his title from the Web site after learning about the allegations, said Hammerle. ‘ ‘ ‘ He said he did not intend for the statement to become a problem. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘I was not speaking for my committee. It was just a misunderstanding, I think, with all the parties involved,’ he said. ‘It was just me speaking as me.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ Ecker’s allegations come just after the Pitt Revolution slate filed a complaint against One Vision One Voice. Pitt Revolution said that One Vision One Voice violated an SGB rule that prohibits official slate Web sites or online groups from linking to each other or affiliating in any other way. ‘ ‘ ‘ Moroney said Tuesday night that both One Vision One Voice and One Passion One Pride were found not guilty on the affiliation charges. ‘ ‘ ‘ Presidential candidate and current allocations committee chair Kevin Morrison, along with board candidates Lance Bonner and Kate Marchetti, form One Vision One Voice. ‘ ‘ ‘ Board member candidates Andrew Freeman, Alexa Jennings and Max Greenwald form One Passion One Pride.