Student Association

Student Association President Eric Evangelista found in violation of multiple bylaws

Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

After an investigation lasting multiple weeks, SA President Eric Evangelista was hit with several sanctions Tuesday night.

Student Association President Eric Evangelista has been found guilty of violating two sets of SA bylaws, in part for lying to university officials. As a result of the guilty verdicts, SA’s Judicial Review Board dealt Evangelista sanctions that restrict his ability to take unilateral actions the rest of the semester.

The violations stem from his controversial nomination of Nicole Sherwood, a senior public relations major, to the position of public relations co-chair. Evangelista attempted to nominate Sherwood in January without opening applications to the student body.

Evangelista was hit with penalties restricting his powers as SA president. He is no longer permitted to meet with university officials without being accompanied by Vice President Joyce LaLonde and Chief of Staff Alec Williams, and he can no longer confirm candidates to cabinet positions without consulting LaLonde and several other cabinet members. Additionally, Evangelista now needs written permission, with two-thirds approval from the cabinet, before sending campus-wide emails.

Evangelista was found guilty of violating SA’s bylaw article 4.2, which prohibits any officer from engaging in activity that “can be perceived as coercive, underhanded or manipulative in an attempt to gain an advantage of any kind within the Student Association,” according to a report detailing the JRB’s findings.

That violation stems from Evangelista lying to university administrators about Sherwood’s status on the cabinet, lying to the SA assembly about the nomination process and not opening applications for the PR co-chair position to the general student body, according to the report.

Evangelista was also found guilty of bylaw article 6.3.2, which prevents accused parties in investigations from disseminating information about the investigation to the public. That violation occurred when Evangelista mistakenly sent an email about the investigation to the entire campus community.

Evangelista was also charged with violating the SA constitution for not acting on the assembly’s request to send out a campus-wide email calling for applications to the PR co-chair position, but he was found not guilty of that violation.

Evangelista declined to comment on this story Tuesday night.

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Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

Evangelista is still allowed to attend meetings with SU Chancellor Kent Syverud and the Board of Trustees without being accompanied by other SA officials, “due to the confidential and singular nature” of those meetings, the report states.

However, meetings that Evangelista and other SA officials attend with university leadership must be announced in advance to the assembly and the cabinet.

During the investigation hearing held in late January, the JRB obtained testimonies displaying that Evangelista did not consult with LaLonde before nominating Sherwood, despite “reaffirming multiple times that he did” consult her, the report states. The report also states that Evangelista arranged meetings with SU leadership and claimed when arranging those meetings that Sherwood was confirmed as PR chair, even though she had not been, something the report states created falsehoods and potentially discredited the “authenticity and relationship of the Association with the university and its officials.”

The JRB also “decided that it was blatantly unfair, exclusive, and not within the appropriate visions and initiatives” of SA for Evangelista to push Sherwood’s nomination without opening applications to the student body.

For those reasons, Evangelista was found guilty of violating bylaw 4.2.

Evangelista’s violation of bylaw 6.3.2, meanwhile, stemmed from him sending a campus-wide email on Jan. 26 that made clear he was under investigation. That email was likely sent by mistake, but the JRB found Evangelista guilty because the bylaw is in place “to prevent confidential information from leaking out,” the report states.

If Evangelista violates any of the sanctions, he will be immediately expelled from his position as president of SA. He has until Feb. 22 to appeal the JRB’s ruling.

Judicial Review Board Report by Michael Burke on Scribd

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