Controversy surrounding Homecoming Queen candidate Peyton Caldwell and her campaign team has arisen this election for allegedly using other student’s T-numbers to cast votes for herself.
Caldwell, a member of the Phi Mu fraternity, had a violation turned in against her late on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 29, according to Student Government Association President Emily McDonald.
McDonald went on to say that an unnamed student came forward to the Homecoming election commission with text messages and screen shots of sign-up sheets where students could write their T-number and password for use by Caldwell. The name of the student could not be released.
The Homecoming election commission ruled for Caldwell’s disqualification after deliberating for two hours. Caldwell was then phoned by McDonald, informing her she was disqualified from the Homecoming court. The committee is made up of six members of the SGA Senate, the executive cabinet and the executive council.
“Anyone that’s disqualified is allowed to appeal any rulings the committee makes if they see fit,” McDonald said.
If a candidate appeals their case, it is then under investigation in student affairs. The investigation consists of why the committee made the ruling for disqualification and attempts to find harder evidence. Other students who may have knowledge of the case were interviewed, according to McDonald.
“In the sake of good sportsmanship, I hope the allegations against Peyton are false. Greed, cheating and lies are no way to acquire votes or represent this University,” said Morgan Franklin, Homecoming nominee. “As a nominee who continuously sought to abide by the rules established by student government, I am disheartened to hear anyone would so blatantly abuse the privacy of students to win a trivial contest such as this.”
Franklin did not receive enough votes to be a part of homecoming court.
Phi Mu President Brooke York offered no comment after being contacted.
Vice President of Student Affairs Marc Burnett also was unavailable for comment.
Caldwell will be a member of the Homecoming court and will be honored Saturday in the parade and Homecoming halftime ceremony.