During the first post-election ASUC meeting, Judicial Council Chair Maureen Ochi Sides discussed the 10 upcoming hearings related to elections violations.
The Judicial Council will meet three times next week and hear from Student Advocate-elect Sophie Bandarkar; executive vice president, external affairs vice president candidate and former Daily Californian distribution analyst Derek Topper; senate candidates Billy Allocca, Stephanie Luna-Lopez and Ashley Nelson; and senators-elect Imran Khan, Regina Kim, Aaron Bryce Lee and Anna Whitney as well as Stephen Boyle, the proxy for Furry Boi. Eight out of the 10 violations are failures of candidates to file the “Campaign Finance Reporting Form” by deadline.
Sides said the council issued subpoenas so that there will be more legal ground to resort to default judgment and disqualify a candidate if a defendant is not present at their hearing.
“I honestly didn’t expect that there would be backlash or this much upset,” Sides said at the meeting, regarding the senate’s response to the subpoenas. “Me issuing the subpoenas is me trying to do a more thorough job to ensure each defendant is afforded due diligence.”
On April 3, independent senate candidate Nelson Ke was disqualified after a default judgement was delivered when he didn’t show up to his hearing.
ASUC Senator Taehan Lee said, however, that in upcoming cases, it shouldn’t be necessary for the defendants to show up to their hearings.
“My concern is that the subpoena and summons are being used in, and in my personal opinion, abused, in the situation of minor violations where candidates frankly don’t even have evidence to present to the council because the case at hand is cut and dry,” Lee said at the meeting. “It seems as though you are causing labor on these candidates who have already spent so much labor.”
Before Sides’ officer update, Graduate Assembly, or GA, President Kena Hazelwood-Carter updated senators on the GA’s separation from the ASUC. She said at the meeting that instead of focusing on the separation process, the GA has spent the last week disputing with the campus about their financial control over ASUC funds.
Hazelwood-Carter alleged at the meeting that the campus violated the Commercial Activities and Student Services Agreement — which allows for the joint operation of ASUC commercial activities between the ASUC and the campus — when they demanded the GA return $10,000 to the ASUC bank account, withdrawn to pay legal fees.
“The university is taking the power that should be yours and acting in a way that actually disenfranchises students,” Hazelwood-Carter said at the meeting. “When people control your money, they control you. … The reason that we continue this fight is because we see this as a leading edge of a wedge which ends with us not having a voice.”
Twenty resolutions were introduced at the meeting — in comparison, 23 resolutions were introduced at last years second-to-last meeting. This year, many of the introduced resolutions expressed support for certain actions, such as the creation of a Latinx-themed co-op house and a designated transfer housing facility.