Mass resignations at Electoral Commission

This photo is originally from Larry LaFrance’s Instagram and was reposted to FIZZ. Photo credit: FIZZ

AT least five members of  FAMU’s 10-student Electoral Commission submitted their resignation letters Thursday night to Larry LaFrance, vice chair of the Student Government Association’s  Judicial and Rules Committee, because of the ongoing controversy regarding the two Miss FAMU candidates who were removed from the ballot earlier this week.

One of the Miss FAMU candidates, Nevoy Shepherd, was believed to have sent an email to William Hudson, the vice president of the Office of Student Affairs, and FAMU President Larry Robinson, regarding the low GPA of the other Miss FAMU candidate, Edwina Fleurido.

FAMU requires a 2.7 GPA in order to partake in any organizations on the campus. As a result of  the report from Shepard, Fleurido was still dropped from the race while Shepard was allowed to re-enter the ballot.

Ryaniah Ellis, one of the EC members who submitted their resignation, went live alongside the 2017 Queen of Orange and Green Jakela London and the 2017 Elections and Appointments Chair Doney Eden, to speak on why they all resigned Thursday night.

“Honestly, we were going to resign before it even got into this,” Ellis said. “There was a situation with the SGA president and vice president. Someone on the justice — Larry —  wanted to disqualify the candidates DK and Loryn [the newly elected SGA president and VP] because they did not resign from their position in time.”

SGA, the Student Government Association, governs the Electoral Commission, which is why they got involved in this situation. The EC is responsible for counting the ballots and making sure each candidate understands what is required of them before they are eligible to run.  

“We emailed them and had a candidates meeting before declaration speeches. We let them know the GPA requirements and we provided them with the chapter 600, the point system, the election code pamphlet, etc. They are given all of that before they even get into dead days,” Ellis said.

“This is such a sticky situation and it’s hard. People put their life, they put their image, they put effort, money, time and energy into this.” London said.

The other former EC  members did not want to comment at the moment but their office wanted students to point their frustration towards the flawed system. 

“If everybody did their job correctly we would have not been here,” said Nya Cummings, Shepard’s former campaign manager who also joined the live Thursday night.

The EC then posted a letter to the student body on their instagram page encouraging the student body to “familiarize themselves with the outdated Chapter 600 and provisional point system,” which is available to them on iStrike.

What was once the pride and joy of FAMU and HBCU culture has become a mess within a few days. Many in the student body have become uninterested and would like to move on.

The Office of Student Activities announced that there will be another Miss FAMU ballot containing the three candidates sometime next week. The EC is encouraging students to vote once again.