Update: Courtney Brandon and Timothy Bassett released statements on April 28 and April 29 respectively denying the claims made by SGA Senators. Statement from Courtney Brandon. Statement from Timothy Bassett.
MTSU– The Student Government Association’s newly elected President Courtney Brandon and Vice President of Campus Relations Timothy Bassett are being called to resign by some SGA Senators after the pair was accused for campaigning illegally.
However, both of the newly elected officers were inaugurated on Monday, which leaves many feeling uneasy about the new leadership for the upcoming school year.
WHY SENATORS ARE CALLING FOR A RESIGNATION
Both Brandon and Bassett were accused of breaking rules like campaigning in the library, and this comes after Bassett said during the pre-election debate that he told a friend last year that campaigning there is unethical.
The pair is also under fire after it was discovered that they did not submit receipts for all of their campaign expenses and donations, including the use of a golf cart, which was donated, to campaign.
SGA Senator Dalton Slatton made an inquiry to Dr. Danny Kelley, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, on Wednesday, April 12, about whether Brandon and Bassett did submit receipts for the use of the golf cart to campaign, and Dr. Kelley responded in an email that according to the
then Vice President of Campus Relations, Kenneth Anthony, no receipts had been submitted.
Slatton wrote up an official complaint form for Brandon and was working on Bassett’s, but there was no official Election Commission to submit it to at that time, because Anthony did not confirm the committee until 4:30 pm the day the election window closed. Ultimately, Slatton did not end up submitting the complaint.
ILLEGAL CAMPAIGNING DISCUSSED BY INTERNAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
According to Executive Vice President, Connor McDonald, after it was revealed that the two newly elected executive board members, Brandon and Bassett, were being questioned for illegally campaigning, a special meeting of the Internal Affairs committee for SGA was called by the Internal Affairs Committee Chair, Hannah Leyhew, to discuss the impeachment of the pair and Kenneth Anthony on April 19.
Seven members of the committee voted 6-1 in favor of the impeachment of Brandon and Bassett, and voted 7-0 in favor of the impeachment of Kenneth Anthony.
However, the next day, Executive Vice President Connor McDonald sent a text to the Internal Affairs committee saying that he had spoken with Dr. Kelley and Dr. Debra Sells, the Vice President of Student Affairs, and the three members in question would not be impeached because it would be setting a precedent that the Internal Affairs committee had the power to impeach, while it doesn’t say that they have the power to do this in the current SGA Constitution.
SGA SENATORS TAKE TO FACEBOOK
After the impeachments were thrown out, many SGA Senators felt like Brandon, Bassett and Anthony were getting by without any consequence.
Senators, like Dalton Slatton, took to Facebook to call for Brandon and Bassett to resign from their positions because he felt the actions by the pair were “a dark shadow over SGA.”
Many senators followed suit, and said that they would respect the pair if they did resign, because they would be owning up to what they did.
A student not involved with SGA, MTSU Junior Kyle Shortman, says that while he doesn’t necessarily think the two should be impeached, but he would like to see some action be taken so the pair doesn’t get by without consequence.
However, both Brandon and Bassett were inaugurated on Monday, April 24th, and there is no word as to whether the two will resign or not.
McDonald also added that there are no legislative steps or avenues that individuals could pursue in regard to the resignation of Brandon and Bassett.
I reached out to Dr. Danny Kelley for a comment, and received no response.
This story was also posted to emcnews3.com on April 26, 2017 and mt10news.com on April 27, 2017.