A.S. Candidate Reported to Campus Disciplinarian Over Allegations of Intimidation
Two days into the Associated Students election, Santa Monica College’s election committee gathered in the Cayton Center’s conference room. Three violations were discussed, one of which resulted in one A.S. candidate being reported to the campus disciplinarian for allegations of a threat.
The hour and a half long meeting with election committee members included detailed questions to the accused candidate and the person whose threats were allegedly made against. Hesham Jarmakani, vice-president candidate, filed a complaint that Gosple Ofoegbu, a candidate for the director of student advocacy, threatened him.
The violation filed by Jarmakani stated, “Gosple threatened me on Friday, despite what transpired on Thursday in regards to the election.” The violation also stated claims that Ofoegbu said he would impeach Jarmakani as soon as Ofoegbu became elected.
The filed violation conclusion included, “[Ofoegbu] also warned me that he would rip my heart and guts out next week,” although Jarmakani knew the alleged comments were “figurative”. Following the violation being read out loud to those in attendance of the election committee meeting, Ofoegbu raised his hand and asked the allegations equated to slander if there isn’t any proof. Dr. Nancy Grass, Associate Dean of Student Life and A.S. advisor, responded by saying, “There is evidence, we had a conversation.”
Ofoegbu said that what he said was taken out of context and that he has played sports all of his life and uses a lot of sports metaphors, “Figuratively, in a competition sense, that’s my energy… I want to like come after you and put my heart and soul into it.”
The election committee and all others in attendance of the meeting discussed how seriously they felt this violation was to be taken, “I think as the election committee, you guys have a duty to make sure that SMC is a safe place and free of harassment and intimidation,” said Chase Matthews, student trustee.
By a 3-2 vote, the election committee decided that this action constituted as a major violation. The committee then decided to pass this on to the campus disciplinarian, who would then decide the outcome of the major violation.
The election committee also discussed Jarmakani’s filed violation of accusations of slander against Angel Rading, of the Transparency, Interdependence and Equity slate, which was ruled as “no violation”.
Candidates from the For The Students slate also brought up accusations of facing disadvantages due to deviation in election code rules, which the committee dismissed for a possible future meeting because the accusation was not properly filed for the agenda.
The next election committee will take place at 9 a.m. this Friday, April 8, at the Cayton Center’s conference room on SMC’s main campus.
EDIT: After an explanation by Jarmakani, it was made clear that it was an act of intimidation, not a threat.