Campus Student Election Commission facing scrutiny


Patrick Li

The Daily Illini hosts and moderates a debate between the Illinois Student Government’s presidential and vice presidential candidate teams in room 209 of the Illini Union.

By Gillian Dunlop, Assistant News Editor

The Campus Student Election Commission has come under some scrutiny this past campus student election cycle. The results of the election were delayed and there was controversy surrounding student trustee candidate, Trayshawn Mitchell.

Mitchell, who was taken off the election ballot after not submitting his paperwork, claimed that the Commission repeatedly did not respond to him when he tried to communicate, and was also not told that he was being taken off the ballot.

“I feel disrespected, they still never responded to me,” Mitchell said.

“The Campus Student Election Commission is responsible for the coordination of the student election, referendums and the election of the student trustee,” Gina Lee-Olukoya, advisor to the Commission and associate dean of students, said. “(Mitchell) appeared as a write in on the ballot. He wasn’t listed as an official candidate because he didn’t submit the required documentation.”

The documents Mitchell had to send in were formal proof that he is a student at the University.

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    The issues between Mitchell and the Campus Student Election Commission were not the only problems that arose during the previous election cycle. Raneem Shamseldin, student body president elect, had several complaints against the Commission including disorganization as a major fault.

    “Last year there was a lot more clarity and timeliness on their end,” Shamseldin said. “Last year I never had to email the Commission, but this time I emailed them (with questions about the election) multiple times and there are still emails they haven’t responded to me about.”

    Shamseldin said the unofficial election results were posted a few hours later than normal and that the official results have not appeared yet despite the election occurring over three weeks ago.

    “The Campus Student Election Commission posts unofficial results then they later follow up with the official results when everything has been completed and accounted for,” Lee-Olukoya said. “Right now (Renée Romano), vice chancellor of student affairs, is reviewing the trustee so when she’s done, we’ll post it.”

    Shamseldin believes there may be a larger issue at play.

    “This is the longest, from my understanding, that we’ve been waiting to see results,” she said. “But the fact that they still haven’t (released them) must mean there’s a larger issue.”

    The problem with the delay in official results is that the elected members of student government might be delayed in becoming officiated in their positions.

    Some students have been displeased with the lack of courtesy the Campus Student Election Commission has shown to them over the course of this election cycle.

    “They devalued us as students and I find it ridiculous,” Mitchell said. “A lot of people didn’t even know we had an election, because the Commission is not giving their all.”

    For Shamseldin, the issue comes down to lack of clarity and leadership.

    “For a lot of people, the Campus Student Election Commission was kind of a mess this year and I think it had to do with a different group of people being in charge than last year,” she said. “There were a lot of things that weren’t talked about or clarified that they expected us to know.”

    Mitchell believes the Commission needs a total overhaul as a way to rectify their institutional problems.

    “The Campus Student Election Commission needs to be revamped,” Mitchell said. “There are constant issues every year. We don’t know what they do behind closed doors. I think someone needs to come in and look at how they operate.”

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