A look at the rumors surrounding the special election

From egging a house to an election conspiracy, Student Government members share the rumors relating to the special election.

Photo+courtesy+of+Student+Government+Elections%27+Facebook+
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A look at the rumors surrounding the special election

Photo courtesy of Student Government Elections' Facebook

Photo courtesy of Student Government Elections' Facebook

Photo courtesy of Student Government Elections' Facebook

Photo courtesy of Student Government Elections' Facebook

University Press Staff

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Widespread rumors have plagued the Student Government special election for the last month, leading to strained relationships and infighting.  

The University Press spoke with many of the key players involved in these rumors to determine where they stand.

Here’s what they told us.

(Left to right) Emily Lawless, Marianne Alex, Noah Goldberg. Photos courtesy of the FAU Board of Trustees, Alexander Rodriguez. Design courtesy of Ivan Benavides 

(Left to right) Michael Cairo, Jon Carter, Kyle MacDonald. Photos courtesy of Facebook, Alexander Rodriguez. Design courtesy of Ivan Benavides 

Eggheads

Did an SG member egg the current VP’s house?

The Players:

Emily Lawless: Current student body president

Kyle MacDonald: Current study body VP and special election VP hopeful  

Noah Goldberg: House representative

Marianne Alex: Current presidential hopeful and February election runner-up

Emily Lawless said that Kyle MacDonald’s house was vandalized in the past several weeks.

“[Some members of SG] just sit around and talk and gossip and cause problems and egg people’s houses,” Lawless said. “Kyle’s house was egged. I’m not listing names, but I know because they were lurking outside my office and someone made a joke about egging and next thing you know…”

And while Lawless isn’t naming names, Noah Goldberg believes SG members blame him for the egging.

The House representative, who supports Marianne Alex for student body president, said, “Members ranking above me in Student Government think I egged Kyle MacDonald’s house. I did not egg [his] house and it is insulting for anyone to think I would do so. I would never stoop to that level for any reason.”

The University Press reached out to MacDonald for comment but has not received a response as of publication time.

Colleagues or Collusion

Did two SG members conspire to disqualify the winning candidates?

Student Court Chief Justice Isaiah Moriarity. Photo courtesy of Moriarity’s Twitter

The Players:

Jacqueline LaBayne: Current presidential hopeful and February election president-elect

Kyle MacDonald: Current study body VP and special election VP hopeful  

Marianne Alex: Current presidential hopeful and February election runner-up

Isaiah Moriarity: Student Court chief justice

Jon Carter: Director of governmental relations

An unknown student sent Marianne Alex a photo of her and Isaiah Moriarity eating at a nearby Chipotle, according to Moriarity.

That photo led some SG members to believe the two secretly cooperated to disqualify Jacqueline LaBayne and Kyle MacDonald from serving after their February election win, according to Moriarity. The chief justice, along with the Student Court, ultimately decided to kick the two out of office following their victory.

If it wasn’t for the special election, runner-up Alex would’ve become president.

Alex maintained she and Moriarity partially met to discuss recruiting and training new SG members.

“I would say I’ve met with Isaiah two, maybe three times … [The photo] had to have been taken before the campaign election and now they’re trying to say, ‘Hey, they’ve been seeing each other.’ There is nothing romantic between me and Isaiah,” she said. “He unofficially mentors new people, they meet with him, and he will keep me in the loop too because I do have, like, 50 or so members and they all can’t come to me for mentoring. So I want to keep up with what they’re doing, what they’re thinking.”

Moriarity claimed he and Alex also met to discuss their Advanced Campaigning class, which he took last year. He added that it’s traditional for members of the class to reach out to past students who have done well.  

“I have shared my knowledge in advanced campaigning with several students in the class, not just Marianne Alex … I will state unequivocally that meeting with Marianne Alex about advanced campaigning did not impact the way the statutes are written or the way the court followed them,” he said via email.

He added: “Even if I was biased in some way as certain SG members accuse, if you remove my vote [on the Student Court] then it would be 3-0 responsible for the major violation and 2-1 to disqualify. In other words, regardless of me the LaBayne/MacDonald ticket would still be disqualified because they broke the rules. If you listen to the recordings it is clear that the associate justices made their own decision with very little influence from me at all.”

Jon Carter, director of governmental relations, took issue with Moriarity’s one-on-one meetings with Alex.

“If you’re about to make a decision about a very clearly controversial decision and you’re meeting with the candidates, whether it’s your friend or not, that’s a conflict of interest. I mean, people are going to see that, people are going to take pictures, they’re going to, you know, submit that,” he said. “And this whole taking pictures of each other and trying to get people disqualified, it’s some politics you see on the municipal, state, or federal level and it’s not what Student Government’s about.”

LaBayne spoke on behalf of her and MacDonald, saying that just the appearance of a conflict of interest is a problem.

“While I can’t say for certain what they were talking about at chipotle, I can tell you it appears to be a conflict of interest and would never be allowed in a real court of law,” she said via email. “If a trial judge was seen eating lunch with one of the parties in a pending case the case would be thrown out immediately regardless of what they claimed to be discussing because it would appear as a clear conflict of interest.”

House of Cards

Has the Student Court chief justice become power hungry?

The Players:

Michael Cairo: Former student body president

Isaiah Moriarity: Student Court chief justice

Kyle MacDonald: Current study body VP and special election VP hopeful

Emily Lawless: Current student body president

Jon Carter: Director of governmental relations

Michael Cairo, who served as student body president from 2016-17, thinks Isaiah Moriarity grew power hungry throughout his term as chief justice.

“The fact of the matter we have going on right now with the Student Court is that, like, I hired Isaiah Moriarty as chief justice when he applied,” he said. “I don’t know what happened but throughout the years, he kind of started to get a little weird he would say things like, ‘Oh, as chief justice, I could just invalidate the election and then become like the dictator of Student Government, like, ‘Haha just kidding,’ but like, he actually did it so I’m very like concerned.”

He added: “It’s just so ridiculous for a student justice position to think that this is turning Student Government into ‘House of Cards,’ it’s such a waste of everyone’s time …  then you have him being friends with the other ticket, it doesn’t really sound like being fair and unbiased, therefore, I think it’s totally fair for Student Affairs to step in.”

Moriarity believes this is a personal attack that doesn’t keep in mind his professional record.

“If I wanted to become Student Body President I would have ran in an election like any other candidate, but it is not the place of the Chief Justice to run for an election,” he said via email. “As far as dictatorships go I would argue that I have been the biggest component of balance of powers and rule of law.”

He added: “I will say that Michael Cairo is good friends with Emily Lawless, Kyle MacDonald, and Jon Carter. Emily Lawless and Kyle MacDonald served in his [presidential administrative cabinet] and Jon Carter is his little in their fraternity. All of which have been party to attacks on myself, the court, and have called for my resignation …”