ASI finalizes Board of Directors election results

Karen Ambrocio, Managing Editor

The Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Elections Committee verified the final election results for the Board of Directors and completed their investigation regarding complaints on the April 21 meeting.

ASI will no longer conduct a re-election on April 24 to 27.

The idea of a re-election, the committee said would be difficult to redo.

“We felt that it would be extremely difficult to recreate an effective second round of elections … We had doubts about whether or not the second round of elections would be reflective of the student body in the same way the first one was,” said ASI Chair & Chief of Staff and Elections Committee Chair Sam Ramtin.

In a school wide email sent on April 21, The Office of Communications announced the results for 2017-18 Board of Directors from the March 15 election:

President & CEO – Louis Adamsel

Executive Vice President – Chris Lee

Vice President of Student & University Affairs – Yomira Zamora

Chair and Chief of Staff – Anna Rapada

College of Business Administration – Matthew Richard

College of Education, Health and Human Services – Meghan Aparri

College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences Reps– Alex Vega, Kevin Palomino and London Mays-Humphrey

Student Representatives at Large for Sustainability – Kimberly Anderson

The results are posted on the ASI website.

According to the ASI website, approximately 1,434 students voted, resulting in a 10 percent voter turnout out of 14,230 students in spring 2017.

“We had good voter turnout and that’s something that we were happy about and that’s something that we want to continue and build upon … most of the time we had 3 or 4 percent. It was good to see a healthy campaigning rivalry,” said Ramtin.

After consulting with the legal counsel, looking over elections code and committee codes, the committee said they felt they did not give the originally disqualified candidate, Chris Lee, an adequate chance for him to present his case.

When the March election was halted and an investigation commenced, the committee decided to disqualify two candidates, Leon Striker and Lee, due to complaints.

Lee was allegedly accused of sending mass emails to students which is a violation of the guideline usages of online social network. While Striker was allegedly accused of violating the code of conduct pledge, Election Code 500, Section X, Bullet P which states that candidates must have a truthful and accurate campaign.

Through email, Striker commented, “I never received due process and was disqualified without ever knowing I was being investigated. Once I became aware of my disqualification I gathered statements from professors and students. I appealed my case in open forum instead of closed for everyone to witness because I had nothing to hide. After I stated my appeal my disqualification was overturned in about 5 minutes.”

Striker and Lee were given the option of appealing according to the ASI Elections Code 500, Section X, Bullet K which gives them 24 hours to rectify any suspected campaign violations. Both submitted an appeal but only Striker presented his case to the committee in a April 4 meeting. Although his appeal was successful, he did not win the position.

“It was not clear that [candidates] could come into the committee, answer questions [and] make a presentation … We felt that our process was not clear enough, we felt that we owed it to Chris to open up the investigation again just to ensure that there is a fair process and that both candidates were given a fair shot at explaining themselves,” said Ramtin.

Lee presented his case to the committee in a April 20 meeting.

According to the Elections Committee Meeting Minutes, it said, “The committee has taken action to dismiss the complaint against candidate Chris Lee as having no merit based on evidence presented by Instructional & Information Technology Services and one the advice of legal counsel. There was not excessive emailing which is the term defined in the policy.”

“If you feel like you were not fairly served the first time you definitely need to have that process changed and appreciate the committee for reviewing it the second time around,” said Lee.

The committee said the codes need to be modified to ensure clarity.

Both newly elected candidates, Louis Adamsel and Lee, said they would like to clarify elections codes in the future to avoid any conflict.

“We as students, we have to go in and revise some of these election[s] codes, because they were made at a time where some [things] might not have been allowed … We have to go back and understand all avenues that we are using for political campaigns,” said Adamsel.

In regards to their new positions, Lee said,“We are extremely excited to serve all students and we’re going to make a lasting impact for future generations to come.”

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California