Election results on hold

University responds to FOIA request, asks for extension

The wait for the Ferris student government presidential elections results continues.

Six months after initially requesting the election results, the Torch submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 in an attempt to access the open records information.

The request was sent to Student Government President Erin Williams, interim Vice President of Student Affairs Don Flickinger, Dean of Student Life Leroy Wright and Vice President and General Counsel Miles Postema. Wright is the student government adviser and Postema is the Ferris FOIA coordinator.

As per FOIA legislation, the parties had five business days to respond to the request in writing, either by granting the request, denying the request or extending the time for response by up to 10 additional days.

On Nov. 6, the Torch received a response from Postema via university mail on behalf of the involved parties.

He wrote “under Section 5 of the Act” the university was asking for an extension of no more than 10 days to provide the records related to 2009 through 2013 student government elections. The university is expected to respond no later than Nov. 20.

The day after the FOIA request was submitted, Williams called the Torch and said she never had the election results as “student government has informed the Torch before.” She declined further comment.

Williams advised the Torch to contact the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services (CLACS). CLACS oversees OrgSync, which is the software used for student government elections.

At 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3, the Torch contacted CLACS Director Angela Roman in hopes of securing the election results prior to press time.

Roman responded half an hour later and said Wright was working on the request.

“There has been leadership changes, new advisers and new employees at the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services,” Wright said. “[The extension was requested because] gathering that information and making sure that governmental relations are honoring that request to the best of their abilities is really important.”

He added it will “take some time and patience” to procure the requested information.

Just 45 miles away, Central Michigan University student government, which also utilizes OrgSync for its elections, provides the student newspaper, CM Life, with a complete breakdown of the election results.

“Usually, we have about a week of voting—Monday through Thursday,” CMU Student Body President Marie Reimers said. “Thursday at midnight the results are certified, and at that point, candidates are notified as well as the press.”