Marine veteran forced to end student government campaign, foul play suspected

A Marine veteran attending a school in Florida was booted from Student Government elections during a closed hearing- giving rise to accusations of foul play.

25-year-old Jacob Milich began his academic career at University of Central Florida after five years as a signal intelligence specialist in the United States Marine Corps.

Not long after starting school, he set his sights on student government.

“I wanted to make a difference and actually serve the students and put the students first”, Milich told Popular Military.

Milich joined forces with UCF College Republicans president Elaine Sario, citing that they “had similar principles and ideas when it came to what the first priority of the student government should be and how to ensure that the student government would be able to reach its full potential.”

However, less than three hours after officially announcing his candidacy, Milich and Sario were accused of nine violations- offenses which Milich believes don’t warrant such a quick suspension.

The offenses include writing notes on his phone which -by way of Microsoft Outlook system linked to his student account- erroneously linked the notes to his email account. Another offense was having the election social media up for functions testing “too early”, despite the fact that it was not yet fully operational and had no followers.

“Even though these were First Amendment issues, I got kicked off the ballot,” he said.

Milich cites that by doing his due diligence in ensuring that his systems were functional before launching the campaign, he was penalized by way of coordinated attacks using vague and unconstitutional guidelines.

“The elections statutes themselves are extremely vague and unconstitutional so these shouldn’t have been charges in the first place,” he said. “They weaponized the election statute in order to remove us, this was an organized effort to target us.”

According to Milich, the overwhelmingly left-leaning SGA election commission – a body of five individuals who can in many ways determine which candidates can even hope to see their names on the ballot- shut Milich down with individually filed accusations often reading the exact same thing, meaning that it wasn’t a “random” as Milich put it.

“They literally copy-pasted the same thing on individual forms”, he said. “The idea was to remove me before others had a chance to vote.”

Milich contends that Student Government elections “should not be about an elitist group of students” and that the University should “let the electoral process go on.”

Despite obtaining a lawyer for the matter and appealing the process with the University, Milich stands firm.

“This shouldn’t be about the lawyers or the court or the administration determining this election”, he concluded. “It should be about the students deciding their next student body president.”

University of Central Florida Assistant Vice President of News & Informaiton, Chad Binette said in statement to Popular Military, “The Student Government Association’s nonpartisan elections are governed by its own internal procedures, and all candidates are required to abide by those procedures.  During the SGA campaign, Mr. Milich asked a circuit court to intervene in the process. A judge denied his request for a temporary injunction, and we believe his lawsuit is meritless.”

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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