Bethel resigns from senate
Judiciary trend of deciding elections through disqualification dissatisfies senator
Caryle Bethel seen above at a USG presidential debate during the last campaign. Bethel’s campaign was disqualified for various reasons by the judicial, and now he has decided to resign from his postion on USG senate. Santiago Peleaz/The Daily Campus
In response to his disqualification from the Undergraduate Student Government race, candidate Carlyle Bethel has resigned from his position on the USG Senate.
Bethel was disqualified from the election in a March 13 Judiciary hearing.
According to Judiciary documents, Bethel was unanimously found in violation of USG policies regarding attendance of senators and failure to fulfil senate duties while campaigning.
Bethel's continued commitment to USG as president was also called into question by the Judiciary, citing the time commitments he would face due to his duties as a resident assistant.
Bethel stated his reasons for resignation in an email to the USG Speaker of the House, Daily Campus and USG advisor, and later in a Facebook post to USG.
In the email, Bethel said he "cannot with a clear conscience associate myself with an organization that preaches democracy and appreciation of a student voice, yet uses the judiciary to determine the outcome of elections."
This marks the third election in a row that has been decided by the disqualification of one of the candidates, with the disqualification of Shiv Ghandi in 2013 and Ozzie Gooding in 2012.
Bethel also states in the email that all disqualifications have been directed at minority candidates, a fact that he finds disturbing.
According to USG Chief Justice, Shawn Pilares, three of the five Judiciary seats are filled by minority students and that the claim is irrelevant.
Bethel also felt that his RA duties would not get in the way of his responsibilities as USG president, stating that a previous president, Sam Tracy, was also an RA in the same residential area.
"It's hard not to feel as though you are targeted," Bethel said.
Bethel claims that Pilares is also a good friend of Sargent, a connection that may have influenced his decision in the case.
"With regards to my friendship with Mark Sargent, he was VP on the ticket that the Judiciary disqualified last year, providing clear evidence that I can maintain my impartiality in all of my rulings," Pilares said. "Mr. Bethel wants to claim corruption, but that is just another cheap shot, which is easily challenged by simple facts."
Sargent declined comment.
Senator Kevin Alvarez, who originally filed for the Judiciary hearing against Bethel, was outraged over Bethel's resignation.
"The student body elected Mark Sargent. That's how democracy works. I do not have time to pay attention to the cowardly lies of a candidate who didn't do his job in the first place," Alvarez said.
According to the USG Elections website, Bethel's opponent, Senator Mark Sargent, held the majority of the popular vote, 1,611 votes to Bethel's 1,529.
In response to the decision to disqualify Bethel, current USG President Edward Courchaine appointed Senator Kailee Himes to head a committee to revise USG policies for future elections.
"The goal is to make it so that in future years, our election process becomes something that we do not have to move forward from and we can be proud of," Courchaine said in his report at the Senate meeting Wednesday.
Himes was chosen for her experience in the workings of USG and her neutrality in this year's election.
She plans to completely rewrite the election policies to ensure that disqualifications like the ones in recent years only happen for major transgressions, not technicalities.
"It is important that the student body vote remains in the hands of the student body," Himes said.
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