The Associated Students Elections Committee approved bans on e-mail distribution via university resources and the Students for Change slate’s campaign stickers Monday during a formal complaint meeting.
The committee also found that an error in voter guides placed at polling stations during the general election had no significant impact on the outcome of the elections.
Mayra Pop, campaign manager of Students for Change, expressed concern with e-mails sent by Edward Kaiping, former candidate for at-large senator, to CSUN student e-mail accounts in support of presidential candidate Andrew Collard and the A-Team slate.
Pop said the e-mails, sent to political science majors through a list serve e-mail address, were against university policy and violated the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which gives students the right to consent the disclosure of educational records.
Pop noted in her written complaint, ‘If the university did not approve the disclosure of the information, A-Team’s actions can very well be in violation of FERPA, the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which state that ‘schools may disclose’ discretionary information not anyone else.’
In response Kaiping said, ‘She accused me of violating federal law which I think is inappropriate.’
After hearing from both parties and Steve Deluca, network advisor for A.S., four of five committee members voted to ban e-mails distributed via university resources during elections. One member abstained.
‘My biggest concern is the fact that we don’t know where they got these e-mail addresses,’ Pop said. ‘We’d really like to know where they got this information.’
Kaiping said he received consent by A.S. Director of Elections Mazen Hafez to send a mass e-mail to students. He added that he used the political science list serve address he received department information from to send the e-mail.
Kaiping said his use of the list serve was in good taste and, ‘it’s just that my rivals hadn’t come up with it first.’
Malik Basurto, a former presidential candidate, filed the second complaint heard by the committee. The complaint resulted in a unanimous vote approving a ban on campaign stickers used by the Students for Change slate since they were not approved through the Matador Involvement Center.
The complaint charged Students for Change with unethical conduct due to Abel Pacheco wearing his slate T-shirt on March 24 in the Grand Salon during a senate meeting where students were present. Basurto wasn’t present to speak in favor of his complaint.
Admitting to the claim, Pacheco said, ‘I didn’t complain. I didn’t hesitate to take it off.’
The written complaint also claimed that Students for Change strategically placed campaign stickers in areas considered off limits in the A.S. elections code.
Pacheco said close to 6,000 stickers were distributed to the student population and his slate informed students of when and where it was appropriate to put the stickers.
‘The burden falls on the accusers,’ said Pacheco, referring to the claim that students may have placed the stickers on trashcans and napkin dispensers in areas designated off limits.
‘I don’t think we should be accountable for what our supporters did,’ elected-senator Eboni Blanche, added to the discussion.
‘We did our very best to control it,’ Pacheco said. ‘I can’t say we need to be held accountable for it if every slate isn’t held accountable.’
Former senate candidate Armond Ohanian from the A-Team slate filed the final complaint heard by the committee.
Ohanian’s complaint stated that the voter guides placed in the polling booths incorrectly listed his candidate information under College of Humanities instead of Heath ‘amp; Human Development, the college he was running for.
Ohanian wasn’t present at the meeting to speak on behalf of his complaint. Instead, Audrey Younna, A-Team campaign manager and director of S.P.A.C.E, spoke on his behalf.
His complaint said Blanche won ‘by a very close margin’ which should make a run-off election mandatory.
Blanche said the complaint was filed on Friday. However, Ohanian approached Blanche on Tuesday notifying her of the mishap.
‘Why wait until Friday if there was really an issue with it?’ Blanche said.