Mandatory ASUC Elections Council meeting informs candidates of campaign rules

Sakura Cannestra/File

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After the close of the candidacy-filing period for the upcoming ASUC elections, a mandatory elections meeting was held Tuesday night in the ASUC Senate chambers that all candidates, regardless of position, were obligated to attend.

The meeting, which was run by the ASUC Elections Council, included the confirmation of all legitimate candidacies. This year’s meeting was one of the shortest mandatory elections meetings ever, according to Elections Council Chair and former Daily Californian blogger Linsha Qi, lasting only about an hour a and half.  

One candidate hopeful, campus sophomore and former distribution analyst for The Daily Californian Derek Topper, was previously denied candidacy in an elections meeting Monday because he submitted his candidate-filing form late. Along with confirmations, the meeting included information regarding the Elections Council’s support system for auditing, important dates regarding the election and instructions about the mandatory cleanup date.

According to Qi, the meeting was productive and more engaged than it has been in the past, with a noticeable lack of tension.

“Last year, there was a lot of tension, a lot of anger, and just being able to defuse the tension in the room (and) make sure every candid every party was happy has been an effort that’s been continued for a while now,” Qi said.

The ASUC bylaws mandated that the meeting be attended by all candidates running for office, at least one party signatory and the primary representatives of each referendum that will be on the ballot. The bylaws also state that all in attendance must remain in the meeting room for the entire meeting.

During the meeting, the Elections Council read two ASUC bylaws, ASUCBL 4203: Campaign Rules & Violation and ASUCBL 4205: Enforcement. Some of the candidates who attended said they thought while the meeting was productive overall, it could have been improved by mandating that candidates be presented with outreach information but not requiring the reading of the bylaws.

“I’ve already gone through the bylaws at home,” said Pirate Party senate candidate Sunny Aggarwal. “The first part should have been mandatory, but maybe not the second.”

Independent senatorial candidate Jimmy Draper said he thought there could be improvements made to enhance the productivity of the meeting, but that overall, the meeting was informative. Draper said it was good to see all of the candidates together in one setting because cross-party affiliation has been controversial in the past but was very encouraged at the meeting.

After the meeting, Qi said the meeting gave her hope that the elections season would run “smoothly.”

“I’m really excited about the elections season,” Qi said. “I think we’re about to hear a lot of potential student leaders express their concerns and advocacy for issues that they really care about.”

Sakura Cannestra is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.

A previous version of this article failed to disclose that Derek Topper formerly worked at The Daily Californian.