Student Government concludes TPUSA investigation

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Student Government concludes TPUSA investigation

Turning Point USA posters sit March 1 near the free speech stallions.Photo by Jaden Edison

Turning Point USA posters sit March 1 near the free speech stallions.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

Turning Point USA posters sit March 1 near the free speech stallions.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

Turning Point USA posters sit March 1 near the free speech stallions.

Photo by Jaden Edison

Joyana Richer

Former Student Government President, Brooklyn Boreing’s contentious resignation in fall 2018 was surrounded by allegations that her campaign violated election code by receiving unreported political action campaign support. After a months-long investigation, a Student Government committee could not corroborate the claims.

Boreing was accused in late August by former Sen. Eli Miller of taking $2,800 and 25 iPads from Turning Point USA, a conservative political action committee that self-admittedly targets student government elections.

The investigation committee was created by Student Government and chaired by Sen. Keely Fruend. According to Freund, Boreing fired Miller from his position as director of diversity and outreach because members of her campaign did not approve of the choice although Boreing claims God came to her in a dream, Freund said. Sen. Adrian Cooper was vocal with his dissent for the investigation, calling it, “a waste of time”.

A University Star investigation uncovered a history of Student Government cabinet and senatorial members working with TPUSA. Boreing maintained that she was innocent, but said in a late-August 2018 phone interview with The Star, “the truth doesn’t matter,”.

Then-Vice President, Ruben Becerra Jr. was sworn in as president shortly after her resignation to which he would follow with his own resignation in February. During his tenure as president, however, a committee was created to investigate the claims against Boreing. Chaired by Freund, the committee consisted of four senators, four constituents and two Freshman Council members.

In the committee’s findings, there were several contradicting reports on where the unreported support came. Members of the campaign team including former Chief of Staff, Colin Pruett and Becerra Jr. reported either not receiving iPads or using their personal tablets.

The committee confirmed several details originally reported by The Star including ties between TPUSA and past student government officials such as former presidents Andrew Homann and Connor Clegg, as well as Pruett who currently works for a TPUSA subsidiary, Campus Leadership Project.

However, Pruett claims TPUSA had no involvement in the Student Government elections and that any winning support came from College Republicans, for which he currently serves as president.

President of Texas State’s chapter of TPUSA, Stormi Rodriguez, as well as TPUSA’s founder and director of communications Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens, declined to comment on the situation.

Freund says the committee found that Boreing attended a TPUSA-hosted conference in summer 2018, however, both Becerra and acting president, Allison Castillo, a close associate of Boreing’s had conflicting alibis but denied her trip there.

On several occasions, the senate has moved to suspend the rules and vote by voice which means that no voting record is kept. Freund said it made it hard to keep a record of who was voting in support of Boreing with this type of system, which she feels is an internal strategy to hide controversial votes.

In the end, the investigation committee’s tentative recommendation was to ban the use of iPads from all Student Government elections and revisit more regulations for voting. Though Freund thinks there’s enough evidence to suggest Boreing violated campaign rules, the committee could not prove Miller’s allegations conclusively.

– Carrington J. Tatum contributed to this story