The Associated Students Elections Board called for a “re-vote” of the entire Spring Election ballot in a statement released Tuesday morning, saying the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) planned to bribe fraternities by awarding philanthropy grants to chapters that achieved high voter turnout.
In an “unsolicited letter” from the IFC president, the board said it found information that the IFC gave “monetary incentives” to students who voted in the spring elections.
Brendan Gonzalez, IFC president, said he had not yet reviewed the board’s statement, and did not provide further comment.
The Elections Board is currently recommending that all executive and senate positions, fee initiatives, fee reaffirmations, constitutional amendments and Campus Elections Committee initiatives once again go through the voting process, potentially modifying the results of last week’s election.
According to Kimia Hashemian, A.S. internal vice president and fourth-year sociology major, the Senate does not currently have the power to call for a “re-vote.” If they choose to pass such an amendment, the Senate would have to draft a new policy within a week to create guidelines for future use.
“I personally don’t see that the constitution has been broken. It does say in the constitution that all students have the right to vote in the election,” Hashemian said. “There is no precedent to this and there’s no policy at all, in a sense it could be argued that it comes down to whatever the Senate decides.”
However, Hashemian said students could separately present the issue to A.S. Judicial Affairs and the A.S. Elections Committee. If a student petition were to be created, Hashemian said the Elections Board would have “full jurisdiction” in taking further action.
Miles Ashlock, assistant dean and director of the Office of Student Life, received a copy of the letter Gonzalez sent to the Elections Board.
“I completely agree with everything he said, I was a witness to the conversation and he is representing the situation very honestly,” Ashlock said.
The A.S. Elections Board believes the alleged bribery “skewed the results” of the A.S. elections and demonstrated that “members of the IFC decided that certain votes meant more than others.”
“UCSB consists of over 900 organizations and not every organization has access to such funding to offer incentives to their members,” the document states. “IFC’s actions posed a threat to the conduct of fair elections and if no action is taken in regards to this situation, it would be perpetuating the belief that votes can be bought and sold.”
The A.S. Senate will meet tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion during their weekly meeting for further discussion.
*Update 4:49 p.m. — The A.S. Senate meeting has been moved from the Flying A Room to Corwin Pavillion.