ASUC Elections Council announces withdrawal of EAVP candidate, denies independent senate campaign

Two people sit in a meeting and one of them looks at the other as they speak.
Yijian Shan /Staff

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The ASUC Elections Council denied campus junior Jasmine Sheena’s independent senate candidacy for the 2019 ASUC elections, announced the withdrawal one candidate and enacted a temporary rule regarding filing fee payments at its candidate approval meeting Monday morning.

Sheena, a former news reporter for The Daily Californian, said during the meeting that a medical condition prevented her from being able to pay the filing fee on time, adding that she has documentation to prove it. The Elections Council denied Sheena’s candidacy for failing to meet the deadline but advised that she submit an appeal to the ASUC Judicial Council.

ASUC Chief Legal Officer Claire Goudy said Sheena’s case is better suited for the Judicial Council because personal information that is shared with the Judicial Council can remain private, whereas everything the Elections Council considers is a matter of public record. Should Sheena opt to appeal to the Judicial Council, she will be represented by ASUC Public Defender Ethan Hill.

Campus sophomore Stephanie Gutierrez, who is running for both ASUC president and ASUC Senate, said during the meeting that the council should make an exception in Sheena’s case and consider amending the filing process to be more accommodating in future elections.

“As an independent, I’ve had to figure this out all by myself,” Sheena said during the meeting. “I don’t think it’s fair to kick me out over $5.”

Campus junior Amy Mori, who is running for ASUC Senate, and campus graduate student Vanessa Quintana, who is running for executive vice president, also failed to pay the filing fee on time. Since Mori and Gutierrez, who was in line to file on Quintana’s behalf, were both in line to pay before the Friday 5 p.m. deadline, the Elections Council decided to give Mori and Quintana an extension.

The Elections Council implemented a temporary rule allowing Mori and Quintana to run for their respective positions as long as they submit the filing fee by 5 p.m. Monday.

Campus senior Jonathan Epstein, who was running for ASUC external affairs vice president, or EAVP, decided to withdraw his candidacy. Epstein’s withdrawal means that campus junior Varsha Sarveshwar is now running unopposed for the EAVP position.

ASUC Senate and President candidate Wyatt Colby chose to be disqualified for the senate race rather than the presidential race — he is still running for ASUC president, however.

The Defend Affirmative Action Party/Fighting for Immigrant Rights and Equality, or DAAP/FIRE, failed to submit its party endorsement form and filing fee on time. Those running with the party will be listed as independent candidates on the official 2019 elections ballot.

Gutierrez, who is running with DAAP/FIRE, said during the meeting that the party endorsement form and fee are another way to charge students and make barriers of entry into the ASUC higher.

“The ASUC is a democratic body that is based on elections and the voters’ will,” said Hoku Jeffrey, a former ASUC senator, during the meeting. “That being the case, the council should make it easier to run, not clamping down on students’ rights to run.”

To address the issue, the Elections Council enacted a second temporary rule that allows members of the DAAP/FIRE party to list the party name under the Ballot Statement section.

Both temporary rules need to be approved by the Judicial Council.

Elections Prosecutor Jedidiah Tsang raised concerns during the meeting regarding the ballot language for the Transfer Referendum, arguing that its wording was not neutral — the description originally said the referendum would “bridge the unequal access to ASUC.” Ultimately, the council decided to remove this phrase.

Anjali Shrivastava is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anjalii_shrivas.

Clarification(s):
Because of misinformation from a source, a previous version of this article may have implied that the ASUC will not recognize DAAP/FIRE as a political party for the 2019 elections. In fact, the ASUC does recognize it as a political party, but candidates running with the party will be marked as independents on the official 2019 elections ballot because DAAP/FIRE failed to submit its party endorsement form and filing fee on time.

Because of misinformation from a source, a previous version of this article may have implied that Wyatt Colby withdrew his senate candidacy. In fact, he chose to be disqualified for the senate race rather than the presidential race.