Daily Cal fee passes following controversy

Elections chair says referendum passes in popular vote after ASUC Judicial Council overturns executive order

Danielle Lee/File
A member of The Daily Californain holds a Yes on V.O.I.C.E. sign on Upper Sproul Plaza. (Danielle Lee/File)

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A fee referendum asking students to support The Daily Californian passed in the ASUC general election, according to ASUC Elections Council chair Pamudh Kariyawasam.

Following the ASUC Judicial Council ruling Tuesday night to overturn ASUC President Vishalli Loomba’s executive order invalidating the initiative, the elections council chair said Tuesday that the V.O.I.C.E. Initiative was approved by voters in the election. The initiative asks for students to pay $2 per semester for five years to support the Daily Cal, the campus independent student newspaper.

Loomba issued an executive order April 11 — the second day of voting — that voided the initiative after she received an email the previous day from campus Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard that said the campus whistleblower program had received letters of grievance claiming the initiative violated UC policy. Tuesday night, the ASUC Judicial Council decided that Loomba had overstepped her authority as president.

The election results for the referendum could not be released during the tabulation ceremony Thursday because an injunction prevented the final tally from being announced.

The percentage by which the referendum passed will be revealed later, according to Kariyawasam.

Tuesday’s decision by the Judicial Council did not rule on the constitutionality of the V.O.I.C.E. Initiative itself, and there is still the possibility that more charges could be filed against the initiative.

Staff writer Chloe Hunt contributed to this report.