Student Action Senator Rosemary Hua is under investigation for suspected improper use of ASUC resources, the ASUC attorney general said at a committee meeting Monday night.
Hua allegedly used ASUC polling resources for a class project, an act that may indicate improper use of ASUC resources. The attorney general, Hinh Tran, said he first became aware of the situation when Hua’s GSI for Political Science 171, California Politics, approached him over winter break with the concern that Hua’s class project used polling technology that normally costs between $500 and $1,000, resources unavailable to most students.
Tran, a UC Berkeley senior, said that he launched an ongoing investigation into the suspicious use of the polling service.
According to Tran, Hua said that she used a polling service earlier in the year for ASUC purposes. She later allegedly asked the service to add questions for her class project, according to Tran, which Hua claimed the service did free of charge.
Hua said she was caught off guard by the allegations and that she denies all allegations against her.
“This is a perfect example of sensationalization,” Hua said. “I promise to all of you readers that I paid zero ASUC funds for my political science paper, and, in fact, I wouldn’t even know how to do that.”
She said that the only way the ASUC was involved was in introducing her to the polling site and emphasized that absolutely no ASUC money was used toward the questionnaire.
Whether the extra questions cost ASUC resources or not, the use of the service indicates a breach of ASUC bylaws, Tran said.
Under Title 1, Article 16, of the ASUC bylaws, senators cannot receive or use financial or material benefits unless the benefits were specifically allocated to them at the time of the ASUC election, according to Tran.
“The red flag to me from the report that Hinh gave is there are multiple inconsistencies in the conversations that were had about this — the follow up conversations had different storylines,” said CalSERVE Senator Nolan Pack. “That suggests that the matter should definitely be investigated. At least we need to figure out what really happened.”
It remains unclear if Hua will face judicial review, but Tran says he is in the process of collecting and reviewing documentation, including emails.
“The bylaws do not explicitly set out punishment for this,” Tran said. “I’m not sure there’s even precedent for this. I’d like to have all the facts before I move forward, but this is just the beginning of an investigation.”
Libby Rainey covers higher education. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A previous version of this article stated that Hua is being investigated for improper use of student funds. In fact, she is being investigated for improper use of ASUC resources.