Student trustee candidate left off ballot due to unresolved technical issues


Photo Courtesy of Trayshawn Mitc

Trayshawn Mitchell was running to be a student trustee until he was taken off the ballot.

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

Some students noticed trustee candidate Trayshawn Mitchell was left off the student election ballot this morning, causing confusion.

Mitchell said that the Campus Student Election Commission contacted all of the trustee candidates last weekend about submitting their documentation by 8 a.m. on March 6. The documentation requested formal proof that all candidates are students at the University.

Mitchell was not in town during the weekend because he was tending to his dying grandfather, and did not see the email until Sunday night. When he went to click the link to submit his documentation it did not work.

“Campus Student Election Commission sent me a bogus link,” Mitchell said. “It didn’t work and they asked for proof that it didn’t work, then they said they had a technical difficulty and they’d send me a new link.”

After a few back and forth correspondences between Mitchell and a member of the election commission, the member apologized for the technical difficulties and wrote in an email, “don’t worry, you won’t be penalized in any way for tech issues.”

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The next day, Mitchell was taken off the ballot. He sent an email to the election commission member and asked when the mistake would be fixed.

Mitchell received an email back that said “you failed to submit the required eligibility documentation by the deadline” and “did not follow up with us about any further technical difficulties.”

Mitchell responded citing email evidence that these claims were not true, and that he did follow up about the technical difficulties. At this point, the Campus Student Election Commission stopped responding and Mitchell took the issue to Gina Lee-Olukoya, associate dean of students and advisor of the election commission.

In an email, Mitchell explained what happened, and Lee-Olukoya replied that Mitchell should have submitted the necessary documents in person by 5 p.m. on Monday if he was having technical difficulties. There is no evidence of Mitchell being told to do this by a Campus Student Election Commission member in any of the email correspondence.

“Trayshawn was left off the ballot because he did not provide the CSEC (with) the validation documentation necessary for student trustee,” Lee-Olukoya said in an email.

Mitchell said he isn’t surprised this happened.

“This is the reason why I was running,” he said. “Obviously this University is not inclusive. They make mistakes and don’t own up to them.”

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