The ASUC Judicial Council has ordered the ASUC Senate — which originally voted at its final meeting to reduce two appointed officials’ stipends by 40 percent — to distribute the original stipend amount in full to the officials.
The senate originally voted to reduce the stipends of ASUC Attorney General Deepti Rajendran and 2012 Elections Council chair Pamudh Kariyawasam from $1,500 to $900 due to issues that arose during the 2012 ASUC general election regarding fulfillment of ASUC by-laws. Rajendran and Kariyawasam first filed cases to receive their full stipend amounts on May 14 and May 11, respectively, following the original senate decision.
In both cases, the plaintiffs selected former Executive Vice President Chris Alabastro as the official spokesperson and defendant in the cases because Alabastro had chaired and run the last senate meeting during which stipends for all ASUC officers were reviewed.
Both former ASUC officials also charged the senate with violating several sections of the ASUC Constitution and its by-laws, according to their charge sheet forms.
According to Rajendran’s charge sheet, the senate had failed to elaborate on her expected duties, but she maintained she had fulfilled all of her obligations.
“With no training or guidance, I was left to figure out my obligations on my own,” Rajendran said in the charge sheet form she submitted to the Judicial Council. “I read the by-laws and adhered to all requirements under duties of the Attorney General.”
Kariyawasam made a similar statement in his charge sheet form and said that he was solely informed that he would have to abide by Title IV of the ASUC by-laws — which outline election procedures and duties — during his appointment hearing before the senate at the beginning of the school year.
“I made it abundantly clear that my principal standard of success would be maximizing voter turn-out, a statement that received strong approval from the senators at the time,” Kariyawasam said in his charge sheet form. “At the end of the Election season, we drew record voter turn-out, ran a clean election and met our by-laws mandates.”
However, according to incoming ASUC President Connor Landgraf, who was a senator at the time of the stipend discussion, the majority of the senate believed that Kariyawasam had failed to fulfill his duties, leading the entire senate to vote to reduce Kariyawasam’s stipends.
“We spent several hours talking about (Kariyawasam’s) obligations with him,” Landgraf said. “Many senators felt like he hadn’t fulfilled his duties laid out by the by-laws.”
Landgraf also said the senate had clarified Rajendran’s obligations as well, but procedural errors for several ballot referendums indicated that Rajendran had failed to ensure items on the ballot were correct prior to the start of the election, which is one of the main responsibilities of the attorney general.
“There were procedural errors on several referendums. The Daily Cal referendum was almost disqualified because of problems with how it was implemented,” Landgraf said. “This demonstrated that (Rajendran) hadn’t fulfilled her responsibilities.”
The V.O.I.C.E. Initiative was a student fee referendum on the 2012 ASUC election ballot that asked students to pay $2 a semester to support The Daily Californian.
At the final senate meeting in May, former Academic Affairs Vice President Julia Juong and Election Council Publicity Coordinator Marrina Wang had their stipends reduced while Election Council Assistant Chair Lanssie Ma’s full stipend was given to Finance Intern Kevin Idnani instead.