V.O.I.C.E. to head back to trial for a second hearing

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The V.O.I.C.E. Initiative is scheduled to head back to trial April 30 after new charges against it were accepted by the ASUC Judicial Council Wednesday.

The charge sheet — filed by ASUC President Vishalli Loomba and ASUC Attorney General Deepti Rajendran  — alleges that the initiative violates the policies of the ASUC. The referendum asked students to pay $2 per semester to support The Daily Californian.

The charges were filed after the Judicial Council ruled Tuesday to overturn the executive order Loomba issued invalidating the initiative on April 11. Loomba said the initiative would create a bad precedent that would allow campus funds to be transferred to noncampus entities.

When considering Loomba’s order, the council was not asked to rule on the legality of the student fee initiative and said its decision to overturn the executive order “will in no way be construed as a validation or invalidation of V.O.I.C.E.”

The new charge sheet contains the same allegations as the original charge sheet Rajendran filed April 11 and pushes “for a punishment that entails disqualification from the current ASUC Election.”

The charge sheet also states that the council should make its decision without a hearing because it will be “far too rushed, disabling parties from adequately preparing.”

Tuesday night, Elections Council chair Pamudh Kariyawasam announced that the initiative received the necessary simple majority to pass, with 5,977 students voting in favor and 4,054 students voting to not support the fee.

Briefs, evidence and witness lists for the hearing must be submitted by 5 p.m. on April 28, according to ASUC Judicial Council chair Erica Furer.

Chloe Hunt is the lead student government reporter.