SGA elections supervisor resigns days before elections
OCT. 3 UPDATE: SGA President Cait Zona said in an email Friday evening that she had no comment on Bajema's resignation.
SGA Supervisor of Elections Nicklas Bajema officially announced his resignation from the position Friday, only days away from the Senate elections.
Whitney Barnes, an elections commissioner, has stepped up as the assistant elections supervisor. Currently, there is no designated replacement for the elections supervisor position.
"Quite frankly, the environment that I was working in was not only negative but I would even consider it debilitating," said Bajema. "I was receiving bullying from high-up people in SGA ... It wasn't every senator there ... it was just a few bad apples."
Bajema said that he was working almost 40 hours per week but only getting paid for 15. Additionally, Bajema claims those same SGA members called him "stupid," "incompetent," and that he "didn't have the ability or wherewithal" to successfully serve as the elections supervisor. He also said he was not appointed to his position by the SGA administration early enough in order to smoothly run the fall Senate elections, adding that he and his team did not receive the resources they needed.
"My idea isn't to throw mud," said Bajema, who would not provide names of the SGA individuals he was speaking about. "It's to shake the tree so the next person who takes this position doesn't have to deal with it too."
Bajema said when he voiced his concerns about the way he was treated, it "fell on deaf ears."
"It was a very destructive environment, personally and professionally," he said.
The Central Florida Future reached out to SGA President Cait Zona twice for comment on the situation, but as of Friday afternoon, she has not responded. SGA Speaker of the Senate Meghan Kircher refused comment, and said likely no one else from SGA would provide a response.
SGA Senate elections took place Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Student Union patio. Results were announced Wednesday evening.
Danielle Hendrix is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @ByDaniHendrix or email her at DanielleH@centralfloridafuture.com.
Nada Hassanein is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @nhassanein_ or email her at NadaH@CentralFloridaFuture.com.