The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Robert McIntosh: A violation of fair elections in one place is a threat to elections everywhere

Photo by File

Junior Robert McIntosh was disqualified as student body president because of an expense report violation.

A lot of folks have been talking about our recent election, and I thought it was time that I spoke for myself.
The reason I ran for student body president, and won, is the same reason I’m fighting the theft of this election now: To serve and defend the interests and the rights of all Aggies. That doesn’t just mean the ones who voted for me — it also means the ones who didn’t. Because all of us, whatever our candidate preferences, deserve better than what the SGA and the administration have given us.
We have a right to our First Amendment and Due Process protections. We have a right to fair outcomes. We have a right to free elections. And when rights are not respected — that’s when we, as Aggies and as Texans, stand up.
I understand we’re talking about a student election, but it’s my belief that a violation of free and fair elections in one place is a threat to free and fair elections everywhere.That’s what’s at stake here — not me, not my opponent, nor any one individual. What’s at stake here is all individuals — you, your friend, your neighbor, your peer — whose rights and dignity entitle them to a free and fair process. They didn’t get that here. But they still can.
Let me be clear — I wish ill will towards no one, nor towards the university I ran to serve and love deeply.
What am I asking for? There’s a lot on the table at the personal level. I’ve been denied an office fairly won and suffered reputational damage along the way. But this goes well beyond the personal ­­— the institutions governing our student elections must reform. The student decision makers who saw fit to ignore and overturn the will of the student body need to answer for their decisions. The administration that condoned and counseled them must do the same. And the university must take steps to ensure this never happens again — that there is accountability and fairness in this and all future Aggie elections.
Robert McIntosh is a
university studies junior.

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