ASUC officials urge caution, accessibility at elections meeting

Photo of the ASUC Senate Chamber
Hsi-Min Chan/File
Members of the ASUC Elections Council discussed the elections season, citing expectations regarding election bylaws and campaign finance rules.

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At the annual UC Berkeley ASUC Mandatory Elections Meeting on Tuesday, members of the Elections Council rattled through election bylaws, campaign finance rules and more.

Elections Council chair Ananya Narayanan and assistant chair Victoria Vera kicked off the meeting with a brief roadmap of the elections season and important dates for senators and voters. Students may vote online through CalLink from April 4 to 6 or at in-person polling stations with proper identification, and the tabulations ceremony will take place online and in Wheeler Hall on April 8.

“We have expectations,” Narayanan said during the meeting. “Read updates and emails carefully … If you have emergencies, call me. If you can’t make it to a deadline, let us know. Be fully engaged and run a clean campaign. … Be kind and prioritize mental well-being.”

Narayanan added that the polling stations will only be open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and students may either log into CalLink or show a student and photo ID for verification.

The Elections Council also described the post-elections cleanup weekend, warning candidates that they may receive censures for any campaign materials found on campus after April 10.

Following a brief description of mandatory leadership institutes for executive-elects and senator-elects, elections auditor Gabriel Sanchez outlined key campaign finance rules and requirements for candidates.

The meeting then shifted focus to rules and enforcement, with members of the Elections Council detailing the different categories of censures and how party censures may be applied to candidates.

“If you think or have a doubt that you shouldn’t do something, you shouldn’t do it,” Narayanan said during the meeting. “Ask us first. The point of this is to hold candidates responsible and establish guidelines for how to punish anything threatening the safety of campus.”

Candidates had few questions for members of the Elections Council throughout the meeting. During the campaign finance questions period, candidates asked for clarification on what constitutes “personal labor” and how to fairly estimate market value.

Carlos Vázquez, who has served as co-chair of the ASUC Disabled Students Commission and is currently running for a senate seat, asked during the meeting whether the bylaws permitted individuals to wear T-shirts or other promotional materials.

Members of the Elections Council confirmed that “passive participation” was allowed and that candidates wouldn’t be restricted on where they can go on campus. They then concluded the meeting with a few final remarks for candidates.

“The role of the Elections Council is to maintain the function, integrity and accessibility of student representation on this campus,” Narayanan said during the meeting. “We will be doing everything possible to organize the 2022 election with diligence and integrity while accommodating the needs of students.”

Aditya Katewa is a student government reporter. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.