A student body election doesn’t usually rise to the level of deserving adult attention, but the role of student body president in Texas’ universities is highlighted in law, and given specific duties and powers on campus.
Despite beating out his closest competition by 763 votes, Texas A&M student Robert McIntosh won’t take office as student body president next year after the university disqualified him for “serious violations” of the student-written election regulations. Instead, the university stripped him of the election and gave it to the runner-up in an apparent bid to enhance the campus’ standing among liberals.
Talking to voters, and not listing glowsticks on an expense report.
Here’s what happened:
Some of McIntosh’s campaign volunteers asked passing students if they could walk with them to their class and give them an “elevator pitch” on voting for him. While such an action seems a natural effort by volunteers, McIntosh’s campaign was charged with “voter intimidation.”
But McIntosh’s crime spree didn’t end there. He was also accused, and found guilty, of failing to properly account for glowsticks his campaign used in a Facebook campaign video.
While “Glowstick-gate” is ridiculous enough, it’s even more galling when the student-written campaign rules are taken into account. According to Texas A&M’s election regulations:
Items to be expensed shall include, but not be limited to, items that fit both of the following criteria:
(1) The item would not be purchased but for the candidate’s running for election.
(2) The item cannot be accessed for free by the regular student.
In a unanimous opinion, the student court concedes the first point belongs to McIntosh.
Rather than buying the glowsticks, McIntosh’s supporters obtained them from “G.L.O.W. 5k” a student philanthropy group whose annual fundraiser involves a glowstick and glow-paint race to raise money for domestically abused children and Honduran orphanages.
With the race complete and many glowsticks left over, students believed that McIntosh’s campaign video would be a fun way to use them up and brought them to the film site. In other words, the infamous glowsticks were certainly not “purchased but for the candidate’s running for election.”
These alleged rules violations are being used to overturn the results of the election. Why? It has to do with who came in first, and who came in second.
McIntosh, the winner of the election, hails from a conservative group of students, the Aggie Men’s Club, which was created “with the intent of providing a social atmosphere of Christian fellowship and brotherhood while upholding and perpetuating Aggie traditions.”
He is also the son of Alison McIntosh, a major GOP fundraiser in Dallas who organized fundraisers for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Meanwhile, runner up Bobby Brooks is an openly gay student who campaigned on “Diversity, Inclusion, and Communication.” Since being declared the “winner” despite losing by more than 700 votes, Brooks’ story has made national headlines with CNN and other media outlets eager to capitalize on his sexual preference and pitch the story of his “election” as a “victory” over “conservative and bigoted” Texas A&M.
In an editorial to The Battalion, A&M’s student newspaper, Editor-in-Chief Sam King says Brooks’ sexual preference matters “because Texas A&M has consistently been on the Princeton Review’s list of the top 20 LGBT Unfriendly campuses for years, with 2016 being the first year since 2011 that A&M was not included.”
McIntosh’s disqualification appears to have nothing to do with campus election rules, and everything to do with campus bureaucrats attempting to promote a left-wing multiculturalism agenda at A&M.
It might be easy to dismiss it all as an Aggie joke gone awry, but undermining elections and due process rights to advance a social agenda is no laughing matter.