ASUC attorney general files petitions alleging bylaw violations

Student Action/Courtesy
The Student Action executive slate, with candidates Ryan Kang, Safeena Mecklai, Rafi Lurie and Chen-Chen Huo, along with a CalSERVE senate candidate, allegedly violated campaign bylaws.

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The ASUC attorney general has filed two petitions alleging bylaw violations against Student Action’s executive slate candidates and CalSERVE senate candidate Taylor Fugere for sending unsolicited emails during the campaign.

According to ASUC Attorney General Hinh Tran, the candidates violated Section 12.5 of the election bylaws, which prohibits candidates from sending unsolicited emails.

In order to prevent harassment, the ASUC bylaws require candidates to have a pre-exisiting relationship with the recipient before sending campaign materials.

For a candidate to be disqualified, he or she would need to receive five censures, according to Tran. Each violation of Section 12.5, if found to be true, would result in one censure.

Tran said that he had received several complaints and, after conducting an investigation, concluded that the complaints had merited filing charges before the Judicial Council.

“Moving forward, my office, the Elections Council and the Election Finance Committee continue to evaluate all election-related documentation and complaints to determine if any candidates were in violation of the Election bylaws,” Tran said in an email.

The petition form filed against the Student Action executive slate refers to an incident reported by a student named Jason Yang. In an email sent from Yang to Tran enclosed in the petition, Yang alleges that he received unsolicited spam emails from a staff member of the campaign of Student Action’s candidate for academic affairs vice president, Ryan Kang.

According to Student Action party chair Joey Lam, the email was mistakenly sent due to a miscommunication.

“Our executive slate met a number of people with similar names, and Yang’s contact information was therefore unfortunately misattributed with these people,” Lam said. “We have reached out to Yang and have personally apologized to him for the inconvenience caused by the email.”

The petition against Fugere was filed after receiving a similar complaint from Dara Adib, a staff member of the Open Computing Facility, a student volunteer organization dedicated to free computing.

In the email to Tran, Adib says that the student organization’s email listserv received unsolicited campaign emails.

Although Fugere did acknowledge sending the emails as a mistake, she said she believes she qualifies for an exemption, as expressed in an email addressed to Tran enclosed in the petition. While attempting to contact Fugere’s personal contacts, a volunteer working on behalf of Fugere allegedly accidentally selected the wrong list, said Fugere in the email.

“The email was sent on behalf of my campaign as a mistake, however the sender of the email did in fact have a previous relationship with the contacts that were emailed,” Fugere said in an email to Tran enclosed in the petition.

The Judicial Council will meet at a time yet to be determined to consider whether to accept the charge sheets.

Andrea Guzman covers academics and administration. Contact her at [email protected] and on Twitter @guzmanandrea5.