Yesterday evening, the Inter-Greek Council (IGC) held elections for their board, including the election of a new Judicial Board Chair. An anonymous tipster sent us details on the election process, accusing current IGC Director of Internal Affairs and Sigma Nu member Teddy Finkelstein, CC ’17, of unfair organization of last night’s elections. In addition to organizing the elections, Finkelstein ran for the position of Greek Judicial Board Chair and won, defeating his opponent, Kappa Alpha Theta member Marielle Greenblatt, BC ’17. Greenblatt served this past year and will continue to serve as the Vice Chair of the Greek Judicial Board.
The tipster accused Finkelstein of failing to carry out his duties as the organizer of the election. These shortcomings, which Finkelstein confirms in a statement below, included not sending out all candidates’ platforms to all Greek organization chapter leaders involved in the voting process prior to the election. Thus, the candidates were forced to rely on providing full information to the chapter leaders over the course of a short three-minute speech. The anonymous tipster also claimed that Finkelstein did not tell the candidates their platforms had not been distributed prior to the election.
An anonymous source involved in the election process confirmed that Finkelstein did not distribute the candidates’ platform information the night before or the morning of the election. The source further confirmed that Finkelstein had exclusive access to his opponent’s platform, arguing, “this leverage allowed Teddy an incredible amount of privilege in both accessing candidate platforms in the race in which he was a candidate, as well as in restricting dissemination of that candidate’s information to chapter leaders.” Because of this, the source proposed Finkelstein had “a massive conflict of interest” and the IGC should have placed the Director Programming as the election organizer.
In addition to this source, a fraternity leader involved in the Interfraternity Council confirmed that chapter leaders did not receive the candidates’ platforms and information prior to the election. A sorority leader involved in the Panhellenic council confirmed this information, further stating that the members of the IGC listserv did not receive the information until 8:30 PM. The information was distributed in the form of a Google Drive Folder, just five minutes before the election for Judicial Board Chair began at 8:35PM. The Panhellenic source explained she had only received Greenblatt’s platform at noon on the day of the election from Panhellenic Council President Roberta Barnett, CC ’16. Barnett confirmed in a comment to Bwog that Finkelstein did not distribute candidate platforms prior to the election and that she distributed all candidates’ platforms minutes before the election speeches.
The initial anonymous tipster brought up the issue that Finkelstein remained the organizer of all electioneering although he was also a candidate. The tip makes the accusation that this allowed Finkelstein the power to view all candidates’ platforms prior to the speeches, incorporating this information in his own speech and using it as an advantage to win the election. Finkelstein also benefitted from the fact that Interfraternity Council chapter members are given 2 votes to every sorority and multi-cultural group’s 1 vote in the Greek Judicial Board Chair election.
Barnett commented on the Greek Judicial Board Chair election process by saying that “the crux of this issue is representation in the General Body of the Council.” Barnett explained that Interfraternity Council chapters make up 22 of the possible 39 votes for the Greek Judicial Board Chair. This makes it difficult for any candidate running outside of the Interfraternity Council chapters to win the election, particularly female candidates. Barnett suggested that three-quarters of the chapters would have to vote to overturn the current voting process, and this would be relatively impossible given the fact Interfraternity Council chapters make up the majority of the votes and would have to vote against their own interests. As a result, the IGC rejected the amendment to change this voting process for the Greek Judicial Board Chair.
Finkelstein provided Bwog with an official statement concerning the election:
First, I’d like to apologize for my failure to distribute the applications for the positions ahead of the election. I had no ulterior motives in mind, and I will not give any excuses — the fault is mine. When the opposing candidate brought it to my attention ahead of our election that the applications weren’t sent out, I made sure they were released so that chapter presidents had access to them before the election began.
IGC is an impartial board that works not in board members self-interest but in the interest of the larger FSL community and its members. However, to ensure peace of mind for future candidates, I would like to work to create a set of bylaws on IGC Elections that keeps current board members seeking reelection from overseeing elections. It would also be beneficial for the new board to streamline and codify the applications and distribution procedure within those bylaws. Again, I apologize for my oversight and would like to ensure the community that it is not indicative of my work on the board.
Some sources have been provided anonymity to protect their identities given their particular affiliations with the IGC and the Panhellenic Council.
Correction, 10:53 PM: The election for the VP of PR and Marketing was another contested race last night, meaning that the Greek Judicial Board Chair was not the only contested election.
Correction, 12/9/15, 6:55 PM: Barnett did not only distribute Greenblatt’s platform prior to the election; she distributed all other candidates’ platforms five minutes before the election speeches.