The Jake and Elaine SGA campaign has been suspended in a closed hearing.
Unless the appeal Jacob Milich filed on Friday with the SGA Chief Justice Taylor Scimeca is approved, the Jacob Milich and Elaine Sarlo ticket will not be included in this year’s election ballot.
Milich, however, has not given up.
“I want to highlight that if the [SGA] chief justice allows the appeals to happen and we win the appeals, we can still be in it,” Milich said in a text. “It’s not over yet. I’m a Marine; we never surrender.”
In a Facebook post, Milich expressed deep regret over the decision, lamenting that he finds it unfortunate this upcoming election’s outcome will not be determined by the 7,000 or so students who vote each year, but rather by the five individuals who comprise the election commission.
“Because of the election commission’s decision, the outcome of this election is not being determined by the 63,000 or the 7,000,” Milich wrote in a personal Facebook post. “It is being determined by five individuals who represent 0.00008 percent of the student body. Not only are these five individuals not elected by you, the students, but they are appointed and put into those positions of power by one individual who has openly endorsed my opponent in this race.”
Milich was accused of nine violations about two to three hours after he officially announced his candidacy. With the implication that these violations were not heinous enough to deserve being kicked out of the election, he went on to list a few.
The first involved writing notes on his phone of reminders when debates would take place, which, he wrote, were accidentally saved to his SGA email account.
The election commission used statute 604.1 I under “Election Code of Ethics” against Milich, which states that “no candidate shall use student government property or activity and service fee funds to benefit that candidate’s ticket campaign.”
The accusation against Milich held that his personal notes benefited his campaign.
A second violation included publishing his campaign’s website early. However, Milich maintains that the web developer he hired published his website intermittently in the week prior to his official candidacy announcement for beta testing, and that he cannot be held liable for unauthorized campaigning committed by third-party actions, according to SGA statute 604.10.
According to the SGA statute, candidates are not responsible for unauthorized verbal, written, or physical campaigning by third parties, which is why Milich believes the accusation does not make sense.
A third violation he listed in his post concerned early campaigning via social media, which he wrote involved “preparing to run by creating a Twitter and Instagram page prior to the official campaigning period.” He defended himself by saying that these social media accounts had no campaign information and zero followers, posts or pictures.
Anthony Safadi, an SGA presidential candidate expressed disappointment with the suspension of Jake and Elaine’s campaign in a Facebook post, asserting that these are dark times for UCF.
“I condemn this decision by the election commission and hope that this action in UCF’s current dark times does not repeat itself in future generations,” Safadi said. “This is why UCF is not great anymore. It started with the Aramark deal and now SGA has overreached with deciding who runs for president.”
"Milich served our country," he added by text. "It's terrible how UCF could treat one of our veterans of this great nation."
Milich and Sarlo will know by the end of Tuesday, March 22, whether their appeal has been approved.
The Central Florida Future has reached out to the election commission for comment. This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Gabby Baquero is the Entertainment Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @Gabby_Baquero or email her at MariaB@centralfloridafuture.com.