Adrian residents say college employees trying to sway election - WNEM TV 5

Adrian residents say college employees trying to sway election

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ADRIAN, MI (Toledo News Now) -

The Adrian community is divided as some say Adrian College employees are getting "too involved" in campaign issues. Those residents say they're taking their concerns to the IRS.

The residents say the actions of some of the college employees could sway the outcome of the upcoming election.

"It makes me angry more than it does sad," said Nancy O'Connor, an Adrian resident.

O'Connor says one of the things that upset her is an email from the college's women's soccer coach to her team. In the letter, the coach encourages students to register to vote, and says, "As a college, we are actively supporting Jim Berryman." Berryman is one of the candidates running for mayor of Adrian.

"That's just not something that you're supposed to engage in," O'Connor said.

Because the college is a non-profit, or a 501C3, organization, O'Connor says she's filing a complaint to the IRS. She says other residents are, as well.

"That is an offense," said Dale Stultz, another resident. "I'm not going to tolerate it. Neither are the others."

O'Connor says she's also upset that a flyer was handed out to students on campus, encouraging them to vote, while only listing the names of certain candidates. She says she's worried some students will vote for those candidates without doing their own research.

"Our parents, when we were young, taught us you have to have a voice and a vote," she said. "Try to read up on things and don't just go by someone else's voice."

Adrian College officials say the flyer was distributed by the student government, and was part of an effort to provide voter information to students. The college says they handled the email from the soccer coach as a personnel issue. They said:

"The College has issued and reaffirmed public statements that it takes no position and endorses no candidate for the upcoming mayoral election or city commission election."

City leaders say 90 students at Adrian College have changed their address and registered to vote in the city.

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