Senate Ethics Committee to launch investigation into Pakistani Students Association

Alleged transgressions of Student Government election statutes sparked an investigation regarding the legitimacy of a recent Pakistani Students Association election. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

The Pakistani Students Association (PSA) will be under investigation by the Student Government (SG) Senate Ethics Committee for holding an unconstitutional election during the spring semester, a committee member confirmed to The Oracle.

The PSA president allegedly failed to notify members about the election at least two weeks prior, which is a requirement per the SG Constitution, according to a member of PSA who requested to remain anonymous. Elections were then held during finals week and allowed nonmembers to vote during a six-hour voting window.

The Oracle did not hear back from the PSA by the time of publication after repeated requests for comment. 

SG Senate Ethics Committee Chair Ariel Wallace told The Oracle after publication that “details of the investigation are kept confidential until we present the Course of Action to the Senate so we can only say whether or not we are investigating a matter, but not much more.”

After speaking with SGATO Director Gary Manka in April, the PSA member filed an investigation request form which was approved by the Senate Ethics Committee just last week. 

The organization transgressed upon its own constitution’s Article VII sections A, B and G, according to the the PSA member.  

Sections A and B require that an organization’s president announce and make the election timeline public at least two weeks prior to finals and the election date, respectively. The organization is also accused of inappropriately transferring the presidency when it was vacated in the spring, violating section G, according to the PSA member.

The PSA member claims the elections weren’t announced in a timely manner, but also illegally held during finals week. Members wanting to run for a position were given just three days to campaign until voting opened April 29 at 6:30 p.m. and closed at 12:30 a.m.

PSA announced its elections opening April 26 on its Instagram page, stating that voting would take place three days later from 5-7 p.m.

There was also something suspicious about the number of votes tallied, according to the PSA member. In the presidential election, there were allegedly 1,283 votes counted with 1,291 for the other positions. The Google Forms voting modality required students to choose a candidate for each position before submitting, the PSA member said.  

Per the association’s Bullsconnect, PSA has 232 members. 

The volume of votes is a reason for concern, the PSA member said. During the student body general election, there were a total of 2,325 votes cast in the presidential race between all three campuses, according to a March Oracle article. Additionally, this was prefaced with almost three weeks of campaigning and was accumulated with three days of polling. 

The Oracle could not obtain the official vote counts from the committee as Wallace said it isn’t public record while they are in an active investigation.

“Vote counts are details of an investigation that are not public record since they occur in our private deliberations,” Wallace said.

Once the investigation and deliberation conclude, the committee will attach its decision to each accusation as well as its recommended response, according to Ethics Standard Operating Procedure.