Christopher Miller, the FAMU Student Government Association’s outgoing Senate president, had hoped to become the next president of the student body.
But that didn’t happen during last week’s elections, held online for the first time in school history.
Instead, Xavier McClinton, a former senator, was elected SGA president accompanied by running mate Carrington Whigham, who was elected SGA vice president.
“#FamuFirst is more than a slogan, it’s a priority that we take serious,” McClintion’s said after winning the presidency.
However, these results didn’t stop Miller and vice presidential hopeful Zoe Mitchell from trying to overturn the results. He filed an appeal last Wednesday, which was eventually dismissed on Friday by Melissa Lavoile, the appointed judge.
Miller and Mitchell had accused SGA’s Electoral Commissions Board of not giving the candidates in the race for president and vice president an equal opportunity on three separate accounts.
The alleged violations claimed by Miller and Mitchell included: failure of the EC to assess points for bribery, pre campaigning, and failure to assess voted points and complying with the election codes and Florida statutes.
These alleged infractions were declined and dismissed by the student court of law.
Eliott Jackson, the student lawyer representing Miller and Mitchell, told the court that McClinton and Whigham had posted unapproved campaign material on days when they are not supposed to be posting at all.
This was going to be a 60 point deduction, but the EC decided that there was no need to review points during the campaign.
While going over the rules of the trial, the Judicial branch came to the conclusion that it would allow the lawyers to do objections. While Jackson was presenting his evidence, Maurice Gilbert, the student lawyer representing the EC, had an objection that was addressed. However, while Gilbert was presenting his evidence, Jackson raised an objection and Lavoile, the appointed judge, declined to hear his objection.
“I addressed his objection out of courtesy but I did not entertain the objection,” she said.
In her ruling Lavoile said, “I officially adjourn this pretrial hearing at 4:56 p.m.” She added that there was not enough evidence to find the EC board guilty of the accusations.
This meant that Miller’s case would not be taken to trial.
“I believe the outcome of the appeal was biased and rushed. I believe the Judicial branch didn’t want to go through the process of an appeal or an actual trial because the elections were over and school is pretty much done,” Miller said.
Although Whigham, the new vice president, believes the outcome of the campaign was fair and just, she said: “(The EC could’ve been more prepared,” and been better at communicating.