D-I Email Violated Election Guidelines

    Gupta’s Feb. 29 email urged students to vote “yes” in the ongoing special election, citing the benefits of higher U.S. News & World rankings and national prestige if the referendum passes. On March 3, Public Education Coalition member Kevin Quirolo filed a grievance against Gupta to the Elections Committee, alleging that the email is a breach of neutrality and that Gupta may have accessed the listserv improperly. Gupta, who graduated in 2011, currently works as the UCSD Bay Area Alumni Outreach Officer. 

    According to UCSD’s Policy and Records Administration, the “all-official-l” listserv includes all individuals — including students — with UCSD emails, and is usually reserved for campus notices. The site states that prior approval is necessary and must be approved by a relevant vice chancellor.

    Quirolo also said that many of Gupta’s claims were false. According to Quirolo, advancing to Division I will not automatically lead to a higher spot in the News & World Report, as the magazine does not take sports rankings into account.

    “This [development] makes it difficult for me to accept election results as entirely neutral and valid,” Quirolo said. “I’ve been campaigning and trying to get the word out and this is an example of information people are receiving that is problematic.” 

    The Elections Committee reviewed the case on March 4. The committee consists of seven students: Advocate General Courtney Hill, who chairs the board and does not have a vote, and one representative from each of the six colleges. Hill said that the board does not have information on how Gupta accessed the listserv.

    “We agreed that a violation had been committed, so we sent it to the J-Board, which is the next step,” Hill said. 

    In his grievance,  Quirolo asked the Elections Committee to publicize the letter-writing campaign he began in response to the email, and to denounce Gupta’s email as an “improper effort by a UCSD employee to influence a student election.” Hill declined to comment on possible sanctions.

    The hearing will be held March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Student Leadership Chambers on the fourth floor of Price Center East. Hill said that Gupta has the opportunity to be present for his hearing and defend his case, which may present logistical problems as he is based in the Bay Area. 

    Students can vote in the special election — which asks if they are willing to pay an additional $495 annually to fund UCSD’s move to D-I athletics — on TritonLink until March 9. 

    Gupta could not be reached for comment.

     

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