'One' Wins Complaint Against 'Unity'

The A.S. Elections Board of Inquiry ruled unanimously Friday that Jeff Dodge and the Unity slate were guilty of posting violations in their campaign for the 2001 A.S. Council election.

Three members of the One slate filed formal complaints with the elections committee against the 22-member Unity slate for violating this year’s posting policies. Unity was found guilty of posting signs over five feet in length and hanging banners on the Gilman Drive and Veterans Affairs Hospital bridges that were made of paper, rather than cloth as is mandated in A.S. bylaws.

Against committee chair Vince Vasquez’s recommendation, the One slate requested a formal hearing. The hearing was held at 10:20 p.m. Thursday in the Student Leadership Chambers.

The committee ruled that the Unity slate must write a formal apology to those filing the violations and all other candidates affected by the violations. Also, as reparations for the extra publicity provided by the posting violations, the Unity slate was limited to 13 posters in and on the Price Center from noon. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Monday. This number includes slate and candidate postings.

The conditions surrounding the correction of the violation were in question at the hearing Thursday night.

“”Most of the problem I had was that the violations weren’t corrected in a timely manner,”” said One presidential candidate Ali Yazdi, one of the slate members who filed a violation.

“”There was over a 30-hour period in which they could have taken down the posters,”” said One vice president internal candidate Shana Thakur.

The Unity slate cited busy schedules, trouble locating proper supplies and difficulty mobilizing the 22 members as reasons for the delayed reaction.

“”It was just a delayed-time reaction, there was no malicious intent,”” said Dodge, Unity’s presidential candidate.

The Unity slate admitted guilt at the hearing to the posting violations. Slate members had received an outdated copy of A.S. posting policies, which they blamed for their violations. Upon notification of the error, Dodge said he was not able to immediately attend to the posters.

“”When these violations were brought to my attention, it was 8:30 a.m. on Monday, and I was in bed,”” Dodge said.

He said he had classes all day that day, and he met with his slate that night to discuss the poster size problems

The bridge posters were fixed Monday afternoon. The Gilman Drive bridge signs were removed and the VA Hospital bridge sign was attached to cloth and tied up with string.

The oversized posters in the Price Center were cut down Tuesday by Vasquez.

“”The average height of the ones I cut down was six feet or in excess of that,”” Vasquez said at the hearing.

The One slate requested the hearing because of the publicity allotted to the Unity slate resulting from their oversized signs.

Unity slate members admitted Thursday night that they erred in their delay to correct the violations.

“”Their argument rests solely on that there are 22 of us and we should have [taken down signs] faster,”” said Unity slate member Nick Lieberknecht. “”And we should have.””

Dodge agreed.

“”It is a violation, and it is a big deal,”” Dodge said.

The Board’s decision was well-accepted by both slates.

“”I think it was an extremely fair ruling. We had offered to do this and more before the hearing,”” Dodge said. “”Our slate and myself, we’re extremely compliant in trying to get this done.””

Thakur was surprised with the slate’s cooperation in the matter.

“”I’m surprised that they decided to have some repercussions,”” Thakur said. “”Since we could not decide in our informal meeting on adequate consequences, I’m happy with the decision.””

The Unity slate corrected the violating posters and continues to follow the current posting policies.

“”I think the elections board ruling was fair and it provides everyone with a chance to campaign equally,”” Yazdi said.

A.S. elections are being held today through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can vote at http://studentlink.ucsd.edu or on Library Walk.

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