IUSG Supreme Court justice dissents on election disqualification

In April, the IUSG Supreme Court disqualified the UNITED ticket for IUSG Executive Board for “over-campaigning.” This complaint was submitted by Cooper Tinsely, who was the presidential candidate for an opposing ticket, FUSE. By the time the court ruled to sustain the complaint and disqualify the ticket, UNITED had already won the popular vote with more than a ten percent lead over FUSE. Last week, however, justice Sophia Hottois’ dissenting opinion was made public, which criticized the reasoning of the court on two primary accounts.

[RELATED: 0.6 percent of IUPUI student body voted in latest student government elections]

The Supreme Court claimed UNITED violated election bylaws not including an opt-out option in their GroupMe messages, which they considered to be a form of text messaging.

“Students must be provided with the option to opt out of receiving text messages and phone calls and these requests must be honored,” according to the bylaws document.

While Hottois agreed that GroupMe was a text message substitute, she disagreed that GroupMe messages constituted proper campaign communications, and questioned whether the violations counted against UNITED should count as individual or cumulative offenses.

She claimed that past campaigns have been given greater leniency and that a precedent had not been set about the use of GroupMe for campaign purposes. She also emphasized that the difficulty of truly opting out of GroupMe messages made it difficult to equate it with other forms of messaging with more precedent set around appropriate use for campaigns.

Cooper Tinsley and Nicole Santiuste were inaugurated as the president and vice-president of the IUSG on April 26, and quickly enacted several changes in the IUSG government.

The full dissenting opinion can be found below.

Jacob Stewart is graduate student studying policy analysis at Indiana University-Indianapolis.

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