Board of Directors Denies Gluhanich’s Appeal. She Will Not Be Permitted To Run in New Presidential Election.
By Gauri Mangala, Assistant News Editor, Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor, and Jamie Welch, Editor-in-Chief
The Gettysburg College Student Senate Board of Directors denied an appeal by Haley Gluhanich ‘19 to overturn the results of a Senate election investigation that found her responsible for violating Senate election rules, upholding the decision by Vice President Aimee Bosman ‘18 to nullify the presidential election and to bar Gluhanich from running in the new election.
A new election will be held from Thursday through next Monday in which any candidate meeting the eligibility requirements may run.
At the appeal hearing, Gluhanich repeated her prior defense that she did not intend to intimidate anyone and that the term “intimidation” was too vague.
After the Board of Directors heard from Gluhanich and asked her questions, they entered an executive session closed to the press and to Gluhanich to discuss the matter and vote by secret ballot. The Board moved into a closed session for deliberations beginning shortly before 8:20 p.m. and ending at 8:47 p.m.
The result was announced by Bosman after Gluhanich was informed.
An investigative report released Sunday by Bosman said that she found that there was sufficient evidence of voter intimidation to warrant nullifying the elections for president and secretary and calling new ones.
Although Marisa Balanda ‘21, who was elected secretary after losing the vice presidential race, will be allowed to run in the secretary election on April 30, Bosman’s decision and the denial of Gluhanich’s appeal bars Gluhanich from running in the second election for president.
Balanda did not appeal Bosman’s decision and will be allowed to run in the secretary election to be held at the April 30 Senate meeting.
During the Board of Directors’ session, only voting members were permitted to ask questions or make comments regarding Bosman’s report or of Gluhanich.
Bosman opened the meeting by recapping the investigation and her report.
Gluhanich was then allowed to give a statement in response to Bosman’s report. In a point by point summary, Gluhanich stated that she did not feel as though she had intimidated any student that she asked to vote.
Gluhanich also alleged — in contradiction to a line in Bosman’s report stating that “encouraging students to run and get votes by students in senate and on the executive board was however not individual to Haley, but also expressed to other candidates” — that a member of the current Senate executive board, whom she did not name, had “reached out to me and said that I needed to, ‘get moving’ and I needed ‘go hard,’ and that they were legitimately worried because people hadn’t been voting for me and that they were nervous I was not going to win.”
Later in the meeting, Anna Burns ’19, who lost to Gluhanich, expressed concern that about this allegation that an executive board member had shared voting trends with only one candidate. Bosman said that she was the only one with access to the Google Form results for voting, at which point Parliamentarian Pat McKenna ’20 said that, solely in his capacity as a student, he had encouraged Gluhanich to campaign after he had heard many people who had voted for Burns because he “absolutely supported Haley’s campaign.”
Gluhanich went on to note that she did not think that her knocking on doors and handing her phone to students was any different than sitting in the library, as senators are asked to do.
Gluhanich stated that she did not tell anyone to vote for her, and that she rarely told any student her name or that she was running. She added that she wanted to avoid the impression she was campaigning, which is why she sought not to mention her name.
Jack Lashendock ’20 noted her prominent roles within the campus community to cast doubt on whether that lack of introduction was thus not a tacit encouragement to vote for her.
“Did you not expect them to know who you were?” Lashendock asked. “You’re a public figure and highly visible.”
After questions, Frigon moved to close the meeting to deliberate with the board of directors. After over 20 minutes of deliberation, Gluhanich was brought in to be notified of the decision.
Gluhanich quickly left the room, and Bosman announced that the vote was 9-3-2 against granting Gluhanich’s appeal, barring her from running in the presidential election. After the meeting, Gluhanich declined to comment. After the meeting, Senator Michael Mancuso ‘19 expressed his dissatisfaction with the appeal process.
“I think through the process through which this was done was an unjust process. We could not hear the accusers side of the story. We couldn’t question her, ask her how she felt, or even gain any helpful details from her account of the story,” he said. “There were other witnesses when this allegedly went on; we weren’t allowed to talk to them. We didn’t have the opportunity to question them. We only have Aimee’s side of the story, we have Haley’s side of the story. Aimee wasn’t even there, she’s just put reports she compiled. This was not done fairly at all. I think the result shows that this was an unjust system.”
Frigon countered that the process was a success for the Senate and its Board of Directors.
“I am proud of the way the Board of Directors conducted itself tonight,” he said. “I think that members remained as impartial as possible in questioning Haley, and I thank both them and her for their respective candor. I’m also incredibly grateful to have such an amazing Executive team. We’re pretty far into uncharted waters, and I’m glad that we are all working together to really make Senate the best it can be. Part of affecting change is making tough decisions, and we did that tonight.”
After the Senate meeting, Bosman released a timeline for the new presidential election. Candidates must meet all standard eligibility requirements and submit their applications by 8:00 a.m. Thursday including 100 signatures. The election will occur from Thursday at 12:00 p.m. through Monday at 12:00 p.m., and the results will be announced Monday. Burns, who previously lost to Gluhanich 63 percent to 37 percent, did not immediately indicate whether she would run in the second election. Senator Nick Arbaugh ’20, who was elected treasurer for the 2018-19 academic year, told The Gettysburgian that he does plan to seek the presidency in the new election. No other students immediately declared their candidacy.