Black Affairs Council president says position was offered

By Gus Bode

The president of the Black Affairs Council said Monday that vice presidential candidate Summer Edmonson offered Michael Burrows a chief-of-staff position in exchange for dropping out of the Undergraduate Student Government elections.

Edmonson and her running mate TyJuan Cratic denied charges that they offered him the position. Edmonson said Burrows was not qualified to hold office. Burrows, a presidential candidate, said they told him if he did not drop out, then hopeful Nate Brown would win the election.

During a phone conversation Monday, Kevin Winstead, the president of the Black Affairs Council, said when Edmonson was in his car, she told him she wanted Burrows out of the race so he would not take the black vote from Cratic.

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“She said she offered him the chief-of-staff position before she knew his personality because she thought he was going to split the black vote,” Winstead said.

Taurian Harris, Burrows’ running mate, said Edmonson approached Harris with the offer. Harris said Edmonson told him when she offered the position to Burrows she was not serious about it, but she was serious about making Harris chief-of-staff.

Tensions between the Burrows and Cratic campaigns have been high. During the most recent USG meeting, Burrows addressed the senate but stopped halfway through because Edmonson was talking to another senator.

“It is a form of respect,” Burrows said after asking her to stop talking. “Am I out of line?”

His request for order was met with some stifled laughing until Edmonson replied.

“Yeah, you are way out of line,” Edmonson said.

USG Vice President Sarah Gray urged the senate to let him continue speaking. Burrows hands’ shook as he continued.

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“Some people have approached me and asked me not to run,” Burrows said. “They’ve offered me chief-of-staff if I didn’t run, but I am a man of integrity.”

Edmonson said Burrows should not have expected the senate to remain quiet, and he would have known that if he had attended more meetings. Edmonson said if he won, he would not be able to lead the group because he knows nothing about them.

USG senator Natalie Pereles said both sides could have handled the situation differently.

“I believe the senate could have shown more respect, but at the same time, Michael Burrows was criticizing us,” Pereles said. “That could have been done more tactfully.”

Reporter Zack Quaintance can be reached at [email protected]

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