During the Spring 2015 semester, the Student Government Association held their annual elections, with the intention of keeping the UMBC student body well informed. They made the election process more transparent on myUMBC by posting violations against candidates.
Because of the new transparent campaign system, the winners of the election, SGA President Anthony Jankoski and Executive Vice President Daniel Amsini are facing impeachment from a disgruntled student body.
“Their transparency led to the student body realizing that they had potential to start the investigation and trial to figure out what really happened,” said Sarah Lilly, a member of the SGA Senate.
The candidates’ actions and alleged violations during their campaigns were clearly stated on myUMBC, so the student body would know the exact reasons the candidates were sanctioned for breaking campaign rules.
Even with the new transparent election system created by the SGA, the Jankoski-Amsini campaign came out on top, despite their well-broadcasted and numerous declared campaign violations.
The SGA was diligent while reporting the offenses of the candidates, but did not keep the student body updated during their deliberation of the Jankoski-Amsini ticket during the campaign.
Now, some members of the student body are expressing their opinion of the election results, and have created the petition of impeachment for Jankoski and Amsini.
Not everyone believes that the transparency in the last election was all positive, due to how the many violations looked towards the candidates.
“I think the change in transparency definitely contributed to the petition of impeachment,” said Andres Garcia, member of the SGA Senate and junior global studies and political science major. “However, I felt like the updates on myUMBC painted a negative light on some of the candidates as cheaters.”
It was Garcia who was originally chosen as Trial Manager, but he chose to step down due to accusations from some of the student body. They accusations were that his view would be biased due to his involvement in the Jankoski-Amsini campaign.
The newly formatted elections have allowed the student body to have more power in their student government and in their elections of leaders. Without the violations presented before the students, there would have been no means to petition for impeachment or any knowledge of the campaigns’ doings.
The SGA must continue keeping the students updated throughout the investigation and cannot fall silent again as they did after listing the campaign violations last semester.
Most of the investigation still needs to be completed, and there appears to be much more work involved in collecting the facts and completing the inquiry. Students need to be kept up to date with this information and it should be posted regularly on myUMBC.
Transparency was selective during the election and cannot continue to be during the current investigation.
Editor’s note: Ellis Zapas, the creator of the impeachment petition, is an employee of The Retriever Weekly.