According to the official Associated Students of UC Irvine Web site, Kevin Kaveh, a second-year political science major running for president, and Tiffany Go, a third-year political science major running for vice president of student services, were both disqualified for a series of complaints made by candidates Megan Braun, Andy Chung and Kim Sharoff, as well as two Middle Earth Housing Resident Advisors on Wednesday, April 23.
The release stated that Kaveh was found to have violated an ASUCI Election Code that prohibits candidates from using university equipment and/or telephones for campaigning purposes unless they are available to the entire student body.
According to the complaint made by Braun, Kaveh violated this rule on March 12 during a Vision Leadership class.
“Mr. Kaveh proceeded to give a speech soliciting votes for his election and, at the end of said speech, he continued to promise ASUCI positions to those that helped him in his campaign,” read the report.
Kaveh denied such allegations.
“I never told [people] to get involved in my campaign,” Kaveh said.
Kaveh was alleged to have broken the rule again on April 9 following a Facebook message that was sent out, which stated that students who did not support Kaveh for the election would not be able to hold positions in ASUCI in the future.
Contrary to this, Kaveh’s appeal demonstrated some knowledge of the election rules concerning housing policies, which state that a candidate cannot advocate for his or her election at campus housing. In the appeal, Kaveh cited four Facebook messages reminding campaign members not to violate housing policies, because it would lead to his disqualification.
Andrew Kim, ASUCI elections commissioner chairman and a third-year English major, expressed a general dismay of election campaigns.
“There are definitely always going to be incidents of dirty campaigning, such as tearing down posters in every election. … Honestly, on a personal level, I was disappointed. I thought [Kaveh] was the front-runner in this election,” Kim said. “I’m trying to do my part to help the student body. It’s so important that we get the right people in office.”
A complaint made by the two Middle Earth residential advisors alleged that numerous residents were harassed through door-to-door solicitation by alleged members of Kaveh’s campaign. Such actions violate the Declaration for Candidacy agreement made by all ASUCI candidates, specifically infringing upon the Housing Complex Rules, which reads on page 26 that “the University does not allow door-to-door solicitation of products or services in the housing communities.”
Similarly, Go was also disqualified for violating the Housing Complex Rules. Dubbed as his “ticket-mate” in a document released on the ASUCI Web site, Go is alleged to have collaborated with Kaveh and members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity to continuously disturb Middle Earth housing residents until the said students voted for them.
When asked about the connection between Tiffany Go and Kevin Kaveh assumed by the elections committee, Braun said, “I don’t think that the fact that they were on the slate together was ever even made official.”
Despite being disqualified, both Kaveh and Go have appealed to the UCI Judicial Board, which has thus rendered the results for ASUCI president and ASUCI vice president of student services under review.
According to the ASUCI Judicial Board member Mark De La Vega, the board will meet some time this week to determine the final ruling of Kaveh and Go’s standing in the elections.
The elections committee’s strict adherence to the policy of candidate responsibility for supporters brings to light a very serious question.
“What if someone tries to get a candidate disqualified by telling people to vote for them in the dorms?” asked a concerned Braun. The question has certainly got students thinking about whom to look to for answers or even basic accountability.
While frontrunners of these two heavily contested positions remain up in the air, all other ASUCI positions have been decided.
Kyle Olney and Kyle Holmes retained their places as executive vice president and administrative affairs vice president, in uncontested elections, respectively. Similarly, Oracio Sanchez won academic affairs vice president.
Melyssa Griffin, Eric Williams and Jesse Velazquez beat out five other candidates to serve as at-large representatives.
Running in unopposed elections to serve their individual schools, Mikael Hastrup, Brian Sloane, Jose Carlos Faz, Timothy Khuu and Brian Choi won seats to serve as the representatives for arts, biological sciences, engineering, humanities, information and computer sciences schools, respectively.
In competitive elections held to serve their respective schools, Max Broad was elected to serve as a representative for the School of Social Ecology. James Fraser, and Chris Ramirez were elected to serve as representatives for the School of Social Sciences.