Elections committee hears grievances

    The A.S. Elections Committee heard three grievances on April 3 and April 4, involving allegations that included the holding of poster spaces by student organizations for slates, the falsifying of information of a candidate’s statement and the distribution of campaign materials in a classroom. Decisions regarding the grievances will be made in writing sometime next week.

    Harish Nandagopal, vice president finance candidate running on the Students First! slate, filed a grievance against independent presidential candidate Kevin Hsu, accusing him of falsifying information on his candidate statement.

    The defense, presented by student advocate Robert Forouzandeh called upon Phil Palisoul, president of the Students First! Club, which Kevin Hsu is a member of, as a witness. Hsu was present but was not asked to speak at any time.

    The counts brought against Hsu included listing positions of “”Warren Freshman & Sophomore Senator,”” “”A.S. VP Internal,”” “”Chairman of the ‘NO on CRENO’ campaign,”” “”Chairman of the H.E.A.R. campaign”” and for writing “”Vote for the REAL Kevin Hsu,”” all in his candidacy statement.

    Nandagopal argued that including “”Vote for the REAL Kevin Hsu”” implied that Students First! presidential candidate Kevin Shawn Hsu was not legitimate and called the other positions created in the Students First! club “”a joke.””

    Minutes from the Students First! club March 5 meeting during which the club created all the positions claimed by Kevin Hsu were presented as evidence for the defense.

    “”I think the purpose of an elections committee is two-fold: to protect candidates and to protect voters,”” said Daniel Gonzales, who accompanied Nandagopal. “”And in both regards I feel that this Kevin Hsu should be disqualified from the elections.””

    The prosecution and defense argued the need to either interpret the election bylaws broadly or strictly.

    On April 4, the elections committee held their second hearing in response to a grievance filed against independent presidential candidate Bryan Barton by Michael Zank, who serves as John Muir College representative to the elections committee. Zank accused Barton of campaigning in the classroom.

    The two were in the same class and he had promotional campaign flyers on hand, Barton said.

    “”I had them sitting on my desk,”” Barton said following the hearing. “”Some of my buddies grabbed one and Mr. Zank stole one, so I filed a police report.””

    UCSD police detectives were not available for comment by press time.

    Barton presented evidence in the form of a statement from the class professor saying that he had not been a disruption to class that day.

    The final grievance brought forth was filed by Brian Uiga, the presidential candidate of the New Students First of the Unity Action Parking Wave Slate slate, who alleged that candidates Jeremy Gallagher and Kevin Shawn Hsu and their respective slates, Students First! and Unity, violated campaign bylaws.

    The allegations stem from the lending of space previously reserved by student organizations in the Price and Student centers to slates so that they could hang their posters there once campaigning officially begun at 8 p.m. on March 30. Campaigning by a slate or a candidate in any degree before the 8 p.m., March 30 deadline is prohibited by the election bylaws.

    “”This is all a big disgrace to UCSD,”” Forouzandeh said on Uiga’s behalf.

    Uiga accused Students First! and Unity of using campaign funds to make the student organizations’ posters that held the spaces for the slates. He says that a change to the bylaws preventing the practice of poster switching would be just as good as the disqualification of the candidates responsible.

    Rishi Shah, a Students First! candidate for commissioner of programming and general manager for KSDT Radio, admitted that his slate provided the radio station with the materials used to make the KSDT Radio posters later replaced with Students First! signs. Kevin Shawn Hsu confirmed his slate gave paper and paint to KSDT.

    Posters for 703 Productions bearing Gallagher’s e-mail address were spotted on March 29 and were subsequently replaced with signs promoting the Unity slate and its candidates on March 30. Gallagher maintained that he did not hang the posters and described himself as a “”core member”” of 703 Productions.

    Students First! posters were also hung on March 30 at locations in the Student Center and Price Center that had once housed signs advertising KSDT and a Queer People of Color conference. Students First! Vice President External candidate Rigo Marquez is listed in the A.S. Elections sample ballot as coordinator of QPOC conferences.

    All decisions made by the A.S. elections committee will be available in writing within two academic days of the hearing.

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