Student body election at EMU causing controversy

(WXYZ) - A student body election at Eastern Michigan University is grabbing headlines tonight after an Arab-American woman claims she was discriminated against.

The student governing council on elections says that's not the case and that she was disqualified for illegal campaigning and improper ballots. 

Student Fatma Jaber talked to 7 Action News from EMU today, a campus she claims is racist toward Arab-Americans.

"I just want the will of the people heard ,they voted for me, they believe in me and I can better serve them," said Jaber.

Jaber and all candidates are required to sign an affidavit promising to adhere to student election rules at the beginning of the campaign.

But a report by the the student run presidential election commission shows Jaber did not follow campaign rules established for candidates.

The 77 page report leaked to the media through student government sources shows Jabar violated EMU campaign laws prohibiting approaching students for votes.

The university requires candidates to engage voters while remaining behind a table reserved in the student center.

The faculty advisor to student government witnessed Jaber approaching students in video provided by EMU's Public Safety Department. Jaber was warned via text message to stop.

But the report detail more campaign rule abuse by Jaber after the warning. In March, several students complained that Jabar approached them with a laptop and was pressuring voters to write-in her name on the ballot and even offered candy for votes.

Jaber denies it, but admits she had campaign workers encouraging students to vote for her, a clear violation.        

Then there is the ballot confusion. EMU student government only recognized votes when the president and vice-president were written on the same ballot.

Jaber's campaign was disqualified by the student governing board and ratified the election victory to her challenger.

EMU issued the following statement late Friday: "It's important to note at all times during the student election, Eastern Michigan University followed university and student government bylaws and processes."

Read the full complaint below: 

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Stay

Read the election results below: 

Election report--RESULTS

Election Report- Commission Report & Exhibits

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