Allegations including bribery and illegal recording of interviews have been raised against newly elected SGA4YOU officers of the Student Government Association as a result of controversial interview practices.
The incoming SGA officers are accused of bribery, illegal recording of interviews, and ousting of individuals because of their UNITEDSGA loyalty during interviews for executive board positions by four students who interviewed for positions on the SGA's Executive Board last week. The incoming SGA officers could face potential action from Judicial Affairs and the SGA legislative bodies.
In response to the allegations, SGA4YOU campaign strategist and executive assistant Taris Mullins said that little to none of the accusations are true. Mullins, a senior English major, was directly involved with organizing the interview process for executive board position appointments.
Several applicants interviewed for executive board positions said they were asked if they would accept $100 to cease pursuit of the position. Mullins was solely responsible for the composition and content of each question asked to executive board applicants.
"This is a misinterpretation which we will take ownership for," Mullins said. "This is not something that we intended to be misinterpreted, but the question was not worded one hundred percent correctly. We thought it was really clear what we were saying."
SGA4YOU cites an article from a popular magazine as their inspiration for the controversial question.
"Our explanation for our process came from an article in Fast Company magazine and the company Zappos," Mullins said. "It's a billion-dollar company. Basically, what he did during his interview process is exactly what we did. They asked, 'If we were to give you $2,000 would you leave the company and the process right now?' We used that as an inspiration to model the question after."
Of the 150 applicants for 41 positions, not all candidates received this question. In a group interview, members of the SGA4YOU ticket declined to say how many students received the question.Former SGA Director of Transportation and sophomore Spanish major Ricardo Boulware, on the opposing UnitedSGA ticket in the SGA elections held in April, reapplied for his executive board position as director of transportation affairs, but was not chosen for the job.
"They did ask me the question concerning leaving the process for $100," Boulware said. "I cannot put a monetary value on my service."
SGA4YOU admits that there was, in fact, $100 on the table during the interviews where this question was asked. However, they said the money was not going to be given out.
"We never gave them $100; we said 'if.' There was money sitting on the table, but it is not money that was going to be given to anyone at any time," Mullins said. "The purpose of that question was to determine whether or not people were actually approaching this situation in the right manner and whether or not they wanted to be involved with SGA for the right reasons or if they just wanted to do it for the status."