ASUCI President Responds to Criticism of Elections Code

The changes that ASUCI made to its Elections Code were successful because they protected students from the coercive voting tactics that were so prevalent last year. The new code specifically precludes candidates from campaigning in the residence halls, libraries or computer labs on campus. This year, no students reported solicitation in these designated spaces or said they were forced to vote; therefore, the most important changes ASUCI sought to make were effective.

Yes, there were a record number of complaints, but most of them were filed by candidates against their opponents and hone in on technicalities in the Elections Code. Unfortunately, the rules that are designed to protect students have become a tool for getting one’s opponents disqualified. ASUCI is attempting to move away from this trend by making the financial reporting requirements less stringent and emphasizing the spirit of the elections over the technical arguments.

However, there has to be a method of recourse when policies are violated, so the complaint process is a necessary part of the elections. In light of these circumstances, all ASUCI can do is exercise good judgment in evaluating complaints and dismiss as quickly as possible the specious complaints that have no compelling evidence or clear violation.

As for the speed with which ASUCI conducts hearings and publishes decisions, the New University should bear in mind that our ultimate responsibility is justice, not expediency. There is a reason why ASUCI does not release the results for individual races until the complaints have been adjudicated. Publishing the winner and loser could introduce bias into the minds of the Elections Commission.

While it is unfortunate that the student body has to wait on the results, correctness is more important to ASUCI than quickness. The fact that candidates choose to challenge the rules and extort the process is neither the fault nor the responsibility of the student government. If the students of UC Irvine want to see change, they need to make it clear to their candidates that superfluous complaints in excessive quantities are a sure way of losing the trust and confidence of constituents.

Megan Braun
ASUCI President
Fourth-year history and
philosophy double-major

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