A.S. Elections: Campaign season heats up

    Some members of the Students First slate are objecting to the Action slate’s endorsements of three Students First candidates.

    Lyon Liew

    Navneet Grewall, the Action-endorsed Students First candidate for commissioner of communications, claimed that these unsolicited plaudits confuse students as to which slate she and the two other Action-endorsed candidates belong.

    “”I don’t want to be associated with a slate I don’t believe in,”” Grewall said. “”I am running on the Students First slate because I believe it has the best candidates … I’d rather not have the [Action] publicity.””

    The endorsements appear on Action’s brochures and on a poster in the Student Center.

    Students First presidential candidate Jenn Brown concurred.

    “”They are tricking the student body,”” she said. “”The whole [Students First] slate is very concerned about the issue.””

    Action slate’s presidential candidate, Colin Parent, said his slate chose to endorse members of a rival slate because Action’s leadership wants to “”avoid the worst of slate politics.””

    “”Instead of enlisting inexperienced space-fillers for our slate, we want to endorse the best candidate for the job, even if that means helping out individual members of another slate,”” Parent said.

    Parent said he talked with Students First prior to endorsing the candidates. He also said the two slates agreed that to avoid confusion, all Action promotional materials would display footnote-based disclaimers signaled by asterisks beside the names of non-Action candidates.

    “”[Grewall] has the right to feel how she wants to feel, but the bottom line is that we agreed beforehand on the disclaimer,”” Parent said.

    Grewall said Action never showed Students First the template; Students First only discovered the template when it was passed around at a Triton Athletes forum held in March.

    She and the other two Action-supported Students First candidates, commissioner of diversity candidate David Mitchell and Roosevelt sophomore senator candidate Desiree Jabson, confronted Action members and demanded that the Students First name be placed by all endorsements of members of her slate.

    “”After we confronted them, Action said it was too late to do what we asked and decided that the asterisks would be a compromise,”” Grewall said.

    Grewall also pointed out that the Action poster in the Student Center that states “”Action supports Navneet Grewall”” makes no mention of her affiliation with Students First.

    Parent explained his slate’s reasoning: “”To put another slate’s name on our materials is a little ridiculous,”” he said.

    As Action and Students First duke it out, the two other presidential candidates on slates claim that this is evidence of politics as usual at UCSD.

    New Wave slate presidential candidate Dave Hansen said slates endorsing other slates shows the effects of the A.S. “”establishment”” on the Action and Students First slates.

    “”In my opinion, Action endorsing Students First shows they both are part of the establishment and too similar,”” he said. “”They wouldn’t endorse us because we have original and independent ideas.””

    Together Our Goals Are Achievable, or TOGAA, slate presidential candidate Phil Palisoul called the endorsement a “”gimmick”” by Action to divert attention away from its lack of candidates. He said TOGAA’s goal for a coalition on A.S. Council of all slates, as he doesn’t like how the campaign is being run.

    “”I don’t know why Students First is so pissed,”” he said. “”It’s frivolous bulls — that has been part of this election since day one.””

    Despite the maneuvering, many students remain apathetic to the upcoming elections.

    Marshall fifth-year Michelle Lee and Warren freshman Ryan Marshall said their political stance remained the same: “”I don’t vote,”” each said.

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