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ASUW board dismisses all elections complaint recommendations from ASUW judicial committee

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During their second to last meeting of the quarter May 30, the ASUW Board of Directors (BOD) passed judgment on the 2019-2020 BOD election complaints, dismissing all upon recommendation from secretary of judgments of the ASUW judicial committee, Dan Tran.

After the ASUW BOD elections for 2019-2020, in which Dawg Co. won the majority seats, the hearing of the election complaints resulted in one of the longest sessions in years.

Overall, the general recommendations from the judicial committee highlighted inadequate policies in place on enforcing possible campaign malfeasance. ASUW Vice President Espen Scheuer expressed displeasure that there were no specific guidelines that allowed the BOD to pursue candidates who violated campaign policies if there were no complaints raised against them.

According to Tran, the judicial committee cannot examine any evidence or charge a candidate a fine unless someone else files a complaint.

The first complaint, by Vincy Fok and Cooper Robertson, was against vice-presidential candidate Zeze Sun. The report alleged that Sun and his affiliates harassed students. The BOD dismissed this complaint.

Tran and the judicial committee recommended the BOD dismiss this complaint because there is no current policy regarding harassment, intimidation, or what they constitute in the current Elections Policies and Procedures (EPP) document.

On top of that, the judicial committee could find no evidence that harassment had occurred. They recommended that in the following years’ EPP revisions, harassment be further defined.

The second complaint was against The Student Disability Commission (SDC) by the Elections Administration Committee (EAC). The complaint alleges that a member of the SDC’s comment on The Daily’s Endorsements for the ASUW elections was a violation of EPP rules, concluding that the complaint was on behalf of the SDC.

The BOD ultimately dismissed this complaint as well, due to the judicial committees’s assertion that the language of the bill did not encompass the entire ASUW entity, but rather an individual voice.

The judicial committee recommended that the BOD dismiss this complaint because the statement in the comment did not make reference to “we” but rather spoke for the individual only. Tran and the judicial committee recommended that in the future, best practices be established for Registered Student Organizations (RSO) and ASUW entity conducts.

The third complaint was against Conrad Johnson by Spencer Lively. The complaint alleged that Johnson had stolen campaign items before dropping out of the race. Johnson was on the Empower UW ticket with Lively. The BOD also dismissed this bill.

The recommendation cited that this was not a campaign violation because all parties were responsible for some money in the campaign fundraising and since Johnson had contributed to the fund, he was entitled to keep the items. On top of that, Lively alleged that Johnson had not paid for his share of the campaign funds.

In light of this allegation, Tran said that there was nothing that could be done, highlighting further flaws in the current EPP rules.

The fourth complaint, brought forward by ASUW president-elect Kelty Pierce, alleged that Nicola Kalderash and Sun had bribed students by offering them milk tea. Additionally, the judicial committee noted that Pierce accused Sun and Kalderash of violating campaign finance rules, although this was not mentioned in the original complaint.

The judicial committee recommended that the complaint be dismissed because there was no evidence to suggest bribery. Further, because the original complaint did not specify campaign finance violations, the judicial committee could not examine that evidence even though they believed that there was severe campaign finance violation.

This inability to take action drew outrage from some on the BOD. Scheuer was concerned that there was nothing that the BOD could do, even though there was likely evidence of rule breaking. In the end, the BOD decided to not pursue action.

The final complaint was by Robertson, Kalderash, and Jimmi Hopkins against the EAC. The complaint alleged that the EAC had invalidated votes by asking students to say whether they were a member of the ASUW or not.

The complaint said that the membership question was in violation of section VII of the Articles of Incorporation in the EPP. The judicial committee reasoned that the EAC had not made a violation, because ASUW membership is not mandatory, and students have the right to choose their membership. In their reasoning, asking a question did not constitute an offense.

Reach ASUW reporter Thelonious Goerz at Twitter: @TheloniousGoerz

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