On Saturday night during halftime, Abigail Greenberg was crowned homecoming queen of the University of Alabama. By all accounts, she was a competent candidate, running on a platform of raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, and she will represent The University of Alabama well.
Abigail Greenberg may have been a deserving candidate. Unfortunately, though, the blatant violations of the Machine-affiliated organizations who propelled her to victory prevents her from ever truly being a fairly elected, legitimate representative of UA. The sororities and fraternities who committed these violations must face repercussions for tarnishing the validity of an important campus election.
The Crimson White has obtained evidence that four separate sororities required members to send in their voter confirmation e-mails, even going so far as to tell younger members that senior members would call them personally if they didn’t turn in the required proof. This is in direct violation of the elections manual, which states that “requiring a student to produce evidence of voting … through producing a voter confirmation e-mail is prohibited.”
This is not a new tactic by any means. The Machine has been intimidating members of their voting bloc through these sort of coercive tactics for years. Though the required voter confirmation e-mails do not state who the person voted for, sororities and fraternities make it very clear who they are backing and the repercussions that their house will face if they do not fall in line with the Machine’s wishes.
These illegal voting practices do not just take place in homecoming elections, either. If they go unchecked here, Greek organizations will commit the same violations in SGA elections knowing that they will not face any ramifications.
At this point in time, neither the elections board nor the University administration has released any kind of statement regarding the violations or any punishments that these sororities will face. The administration’s silence on this and all other previous elections violations is shameful and proves that they value Greek students over all others.
It does not matter to them that fewer and fewer students run for elected positions each year, discouraged by the almost certainty of Machine victory. They only care that rich Greek students, many of whom have parents that donate large sums of money to the University and are well-connected with the administration, stay happy and stay in power.
The elections board’s silence, too, is disturbing. This group of students is appointed solely to maintain the sanctity and fairness of our campus elections, and their failure to perform this one task begs the question of why the elections board even exists.
So many campus elections have passed by in this fashion, with clear evidence of violations yet nothing done about it. How many undemocratic elections will the University endorse? If they truly care about the representation of all students, not just the Greeks, this will be the last one.