Shiftspace charged with violating SGA election code, appealing to the Student Supreme Court


Nithin Reddy Nagapur / The Sunflower

SGA Treasurer Zachary James gives a report at the SGA meeting on April 13.

Shiftspace, a Wichita State student-run art gallery, has received an alleged election violation from the Elections Commission, citing a clause in the student fees statute barring university departments from interfering with any aspect of SGA elections.

Treasurer Zachary James announced the charge at Wednesday night’s SGA meeting. He said the Elections Commission issued a memo to him on Friday, informing him that they took a case submitted to them regarding an alleged election violation.

“There is a clause in the student fee statute that requires all funded entities to adhere to all aspects of association policies, including our election policies,” James said.  “With this in mind, I enforce the policy based on the violation of the statute, meaning that for this fiscal year the Shiftspace art gallery is now ineligible to receive association funding.”

According to James, the clause can be found in S003 of SGA’s rules and regulations, which discusses mandatory student services fees.  Chapter three outlines the eligibility for appropriation, and section four states “Any entity in compliance with the Constitution, Bylaws, Statutes, and/or Resolutions of the Association shall not be eligible to receive Association funds.”

In student fees deliberation, Shiftspace got its funding request cut initially by 65.8%.  After speaking in public forum in two meetings and much debate between senators, their funding for the upcoming fiscal year was reinstated to $67,317, with $23,000 coming from student fees and the rest coming from SGA reserves.

James said that SGA advisor Gabriel Fonseca reached out to the budget officer of Shiftspace, who has since decided to appeal this decision in the Student Supreme Court, the judicial branch of SGA.

Senator Dalton Dicks asked James if there was a specific charge. James said he did not know the specific charge, only that they were found in violation of the election policy.

On April 1, Shiftspace shared a Sunflower article regarding their funding. In that Facebook post, they specifically targeted Senator John Kirk about his comments on and lack of support regarding the gallery.

“This is the support we are getting from our fine arts senator, John Kirk,” the post stated. “He’s up for re-election. Let’s show him how ignoring and neglecting a significant portion of his constituency effects his poll numbers.”

This post has since then been edited and now just includes the quote from Kirk. It is unclear if the alleged election violation is referring to this Facebook post.