ASUC Judicial Council issues 1 censure, finds 3 other individuals not guilty

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The ASUC Judicial Council issued one censure against Student Action senator-elect Alicia Lau on Thursday and found three other individuals not guilty for alleged bylaw violations Sunday.

Lau’s censure is in response to her alleged violation of an elections bylaw that prohibits candidates from sending “spam” emails. The bylaw mandates that candidates or their supporters must have a preexisting relationship with the recipient of every campaign email they send. The candidates may also contact members of organizations of which they are a part, or they may request permission from the leader of an organization to contact members of that group.

An individual student reported to ASUC Elections Prosecutor Olivia Cusimano the receipt of an allegedly unsolicited email from Lau’s UC Berkeley address that urged the student to vote for Lau in the ASUC elections. Cusimano then requested direct judgment from the council.

The council determined Lau was guilty of violating Section 5.2 of ASUC Bylaw 4203. According to the summary judgment report, Lau was unable to prove a preexisting relationship with the recipient. Because the email was written in first person and sent from Lau’s account, the council issued its judgment with the assumption that Lau was the author.

The cases involving former CalSERVE candidate Arya Aliabadi, SQUELCH! senator-elect Sina Rashidi and SQUELCH! policy director Nisa Dang resulted in no censures. The case against Aliabadi was initially dismissed and then refiled.

Aliabadi, a former photo editor for The Daily Californian, was found not guilty after being accused of falsely claiming membership in the campus American Medical Student Association. The Judicial Council found that while Aliabadi had compromised his status as a committee member because of attendance issues, he still maintained his status as a general member of the group and was therefore not guilty of misrepresenting his status.

The Judicial Council also determined that Rashidi and Dang, who were involved in the complaint against Aliabadi, were not in violation of Section 5.1 of ASUC Bylaw 4203, which prohibits the filing of malicious, frivolous or bad-faith charges. The council determined there was not enough evidence to find them guilty of filing the charges under these circumstances.

Michelle Pitcher is a staff writer. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @michellepitcher.