Claims of bias fly after SGA elections

Members of the Electoral Commission are saying Alice Mathis, the director of student activities, “overstepped her boundaries” during the elections process.

Allegations that Mathis, among other things, appointed poll workers to FAMU’s precincts without the knowledge of the commission – a direct violation of Election Statutes – could be fuel for several candidates vying for elected offices to demand a recount, or a total re-vote.

“It’s not over!” one student shouted outside the Office of Student Union and Activities Wednesday afternoon.

Electoral Commissioner Tiffany Cartwright said a memorandum has been distributed to several people on campus, including Interim President Castell V. Bryant, to discuss issues the entire commission has had with powers being taken away during the elections process. While she wouldn’t say much, Cartwright said Alice Mathis, the University’s director of student activities, exhibited “overzealous involvement” with the commission during the elections. “She has overstepped her boundaries as student activities director and has tried to run the elections,” she said.

Cartwright said it felt as if Mathis was trying to “take my duties away from me.”

In the memo, received by The Famuan Thursday morning, Mathis was said to have also placed people at polling precincts who were not certified by the city of Tallahassee and who did not appear on a list of student volunteers approved by the Student Senate.

At the Tucker Hall polling station, four people, including Precinct Supervisor Khia Johnson, were present. Two were student volunteers, and another, older woman refused to be identified; the unidentified woman said to ask Mathis why she was at the polling station.

Mathis was unable to be reached for comment after numerous attempts to contact her via student activities and her University-issued cellular phone.

“Basically, these elections are over with,” Cartwright said. “As a commission, we feel as though she needs to be talked to. Her personal feelings came into this.”

Last week, members of the campaign for presidential and vice presidential ticket of Tory Alston and Yvette Wilmoth were told by the Electoral Commission, in an order directly from Mathis, Cartwright said, to remove all posted materials from the Set. Mathis said the posters violated copyright infringement rules.

“How is General Counsel coming back and saying it’s copyright infringement if they’ve already approved (the logo),” said Jo’Vion Greer, 21, a third-year business administration student from Saginaw, Mich.

Ramon Alexander, who, along with sophomore Phillip Agnew, won Tuesday’s SGA Presidential race, refused to comment on the allegations surrounding the elections process. He said he’s looking toward next year.

“It was fun to get out there and take our message to the student body,” said Alexander, a junior political science student from Tallahassee. “We look forward to continuing to serve our dynamic university.”

Torey Alston said he was surprised by allegations that there may have been favoritism toward his opponent.

“I hate it appears to be some sort of plot or plan to not see me and Yvette in office by certain individuals,” said Alston, 20, a third year business administration student from Fort Lauderdale. “The students have already spoken; I just want something fair.”

“Whatever that may be, I’ll be satisfied.”

Contact Marlon A. Walker at