ASUC Senator Derek Imai announced his party disaffiliation with Student Action on Thursday night in a statement released on Facebook, which said his priorities and values no longer match those of his former party.
Imai’s announcement follows last year’s controversy when all Student Action candidates were almost disqualified after a judicial council decision as well as after the resignation of a Graduate Assembly-appointed judicial council member last month over last year’s electoral decisions.
Josh Lewis, the former Student Action party chair, also recently left the party, but has yet to release a public statement.
“After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the priorities and values that I uphold are incompatible with those of Student Action,” Imai said in his statement. “I feel that a continued partnership with Student Action does not reflect the vision I have for my office, my senatorship, and my communities.”
Imai added in the statement that his time in Student Action gave him opportunities and relationships he still appreciates. He also said he will continue to represent his pre-health community as well as his other ones.
According to Student Action party chair Stephanie Luna-Lopez, Imai spoke to the leadership of Student Action before announcing his disaffiliation. Luna-Lopez added that she plans to follow up with Imai for constructive feedback and that there is no animosity between Student Action and either Lewis or Imai.
“I know that our party is not perfect, but I am constantly inspired by our elected officials’ commitment to improving the party and our campus,” Luna-Lopez said in an email. “We’ve been really intentional about putting service to marginalized communities at the center of Student Action’s mission this year to go along with our long legacy of tangible work on behalf of all students.”
This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.