Finck, Dahle file grievance in elections

Staff Reports

Following the results of the Students’ Associations elections, Caleb Finck and Matt Dahle have announced that they filed a grievance against opposing candidates Olivia Siglin and Jacob Sutton last week.

The concept of the grievance deals with a violation against the solicitation policy in the residence halls, Finck said.

“We submitted it [the grievance] last week…this isn’t because we lost by five votes. We compiled the evidence,” Dahle said.

According to the SA bylaws, the committee has five days following the election to make a decision regarding the outcome of the grievance.

“We are going to listen to both slates and render a decision in writing by Tuesday, so campus doesn’t have to wonder who is in leadership,” Doug Wermedal, vice president of Student Affairs said.

The South Dakota State University Housing and Residential Life Residential Handbook states:

“Residence Hall Solicitation Policy: To maintain privacy and security, door-to-door solicitation is not allowed in residence halls.”

This applies to the use of campaign materials and came down to the difference of following the rules and breaking them, Finck said.

According to Finck and Dahle, upon filing a grievance with the Vice President of Student Affairs, a committee is formed of the advisers of SA. The committee will then determine the outcome of the grievance, which could be a number of different things.

The SA bylaws state that options for the outcome include anything from a letter of apology or the tickets removal from the race, Dahle said.

“Ultimately it comes up to what the advisors decide,” Finck said.

The grievance was submitted to Wermedal on March 23. Wermedal will now form a committee with the other SA advisers, Sam Jennings, Laura Diddle, and Chris Schmit and will release a statement with the specific details of the grievance next Tuesday (March 31).

The committee will meet twice, once to make sure the committee is comfortable with the grievance process and then a second time to make the decision on the outcome of the grievance, Wermedal said.

“Frankly, this is a no lose situation. We have two sets of qualified leaders… I wish it wasn’t necessary. It is not a process you look to engage,” Wermedal said.

Siglin and Sutton had no other information at this time and declined any further comment related to the issue.

“It was a close election and Student Affairs is making sure all the student votes are accounted for and are just checking the boxes,” Sutton said.

Due to voting running electronically, a re-count will not take place, Dahle said.

“Elections can have wrinkles in them… This is not a process driven by the margin of victory. This is a process driven by procedural boundary,” Wermedal said.

Stay posted with The Collegian for updates.