Thursday, March 29 – As the remaining students cast their ballets on the penultimate day of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) election, many could be feeling out of sorts, or maybe even chagrin; the presidential race for the Atlanta campus has seemingly erupted through Oxford College due to an article posted by the Emory Wheel on Wednesday, March 28.
The article reported allegations against current presidential candidate Dwight Ma, who was challenged by fellow students under the suspicion of buying drinks for students as a way to solicit votes.
According to The Emory Wheel, two members of Oxford College’s Business club filed reports against Dwight Ma for offering executive positions in return for support in the election. The Emory Wheel obtained information regarding the complaints from the Chair of Elections Committee Bell Zhang, who’s responsibility it is to supervise the election.
Though the article proved to be exciting and controversial, Oxford College’s disappointment with this year’s election has little to do with the Atlanta campus candidates’ back and forth and more to do with the way in which the recorded challenges and complaints were handled by both the Emory Wheel and the Board of Elections.
According to the Oxford Business Club’s recent statement regarding the article, the members cited in The Emory Wheel expected their complaints to be confidential.
“The Elections Board as a whole really failed in its duty to conduct a proper investigation to the election,” said Gabriel Moran, 2020, “By releasing the fact that we filed the complaint, we are now liable to some type of, not retaliation, but backlash…we don’t like the fact that were are now politicized as a group.”
In addition to this, the club feels as though the releasing of once-presumed private information is a breach of trust between Atlanta’s SGA and the student body.
“I can’t speculate as to the thought process behind the Wheel and it’s editorial board, however they probably should’ve exercised more prudence and been a little more deliberate as to how they handled this information…especially because the election is still on going,” Moran said.
Questions, controversy and confusion for both Atlanta and Oxford students should be resolved during Ma’s hearing on Friday, March 30.
In the meantime, Oxford’s SGA, lead by President Ben Palmer, believes that looking to mitigate problems seen in this years election can start by bringing reform to Atlanta’s General Assembly on Monday. During the weekend, Oxford SGA will be discussing the lapse of privacy mentioned in Emory’s Code of Elections and holding The Emory Wheel accountable in terms of obtaining sensitive information, along with ways they can bring constructive reform into Atlanta come Monday.