"RHA WRITE-INS NOT RUNNING" Scott Travis The Crimson White April 9, 1993
A flier listing write-in candidates for Residence Hall Association elections suggests that the Machine may be looking for something new to control.
But the women the list endorses for president and secretary/treasurer say that they will not accept the positions if they win.
The Machine, a secretive all-white coalition of fraternities and sororities, has traditionally influenced SGA elections by endorsing candidates and distributing a list of their selections. Now they may be trying for RHA.
A member of a Machine sorority, who requested anonymity, provided a copy of the RHA candidate list to The Crimson White. She said the fliers were displayed near the door of her sorority house on March 23, the day RHA elections were originally scheduled to be held. However, RHA elections were postponed until April 13.
The roster of write-in candidates lists Alpha Chi Omega member Ruth Troxler for president, Alpha Omicron Pi member Julie Labounty for vice president and Delta Delta Delta member Carolyn Carringer for secretary/treasurer. The sheet says to write in the candidates' names for each office and even encourages use of correct spelling. However, Troxler and Carringer said they aren't interested in the positions.
Troxler said that she was approached by some friends to run for the position, but said she is not running and will not accept the position if she wins in a write-in effort. She said she wants RHA president Eddie Fulks, the only candidate who will appear on the ballot, to keep his position.
"I thought about (running), but I decided to decline, especially since elections were moved back," Troxler said.
Carringer said that she was asked to run by "some girl" she didn't know. However, she said she won't run because she is unsure whether she'll live in a residence hall next year.
Labounty, when asked if it was true that she would run for vice president, said "Something like that. I think they said president." When asked who "they" were, Labounty said, "I really don't think I should talk to you."
The student who provided the list said she was aware that Troxler was not interested in running, but said a revised list has not been distributed.
Although the student said the list is a product of the Machine, the Machine has not taken credit. The only reference is a sentence at the bottom of the sheet which states, "Lister Strikes Again." Former U.S. Sen. Lister Hill is the founder of the SGA and is credited as the founder of the Machine. "God Save Lister Hill" is traditionally printed on Machine ballots for SGA elections.
Steve Blakely, the widely-rumored president of the Machine, refused to comment on whether the Machine is endorsing RHA candidates.
If so, it is probably the first time. Dale Taylor, director of Housing and Residential Life, said he cannot recall the Machine ever putting candidates up for RHA elections. Taylor said he has heard rumors of a possible Machine slate but doesn't see a problem with it.
If the alleged candidates are qualified, it is probably not with RHA. Tanya Thorsen, advisor to RHA, said she has never seen any of the three possible write-in candidates at an RHA meeting before.
However, Thorsen said "it is fine" if any write-in candidates want to run. "My only concern is (that) everyone vote. If everyone does that the outcome will be who it should be."
But Fulks expressed concerns about what might be going on. "I don't have a problem with not being RHA president if another qualified candidate is chosen by the voters," he said. "But if it is used as a political tool by 'the organization,' then I have a problem."
Both Fulks and the anonymous source said a motive for the Machine's possible involvement might be to gain more power in the Council of Presidents and possibly in the restructured SGA. RHA may gain a Senate seat through the restructuring process...