The Nexus is retracting its endorsement of Mayela Morales for the position of external vice president for statewide affairs.
The Nexus editorial board published endorsements of all executive candidates running in the Associated Students elections on Thursday, April 19.
On April 15, the Nexus received an anonymous email alleging financial mismanagement by a student during a lobbying trip for students to speak with state and national representatives in early April in Washington, D.C. and in Sacramento in March. The student was running as an executive candidate in the spring A.S. election, according to the email.
The Nexus began to investigate the matter immediately but was unable to confirm which candidate the anonymous sender referred to.
After the Nexus published its endorsement of Morales, the editorial board began to receive other complaints about organizational conflicts during the student lobby visits. These complaints were from three anonymous sources that worked with Morales in preparation for these conferences.
Morales was the internal director of Lobby Corps as well as a member of USSA, which organized both lobbying trips.
While the Nexus editorial board was aware of complaints against an executive candidate prior to writing the endorsement, we needed confirmation through evidence and documentation to retract our choice. Our endorsement of Morales was based on an extensive interview process and a discussion with the editorial board.
Based on Morales’s interview and other involvement on campus, we do believe Morales is the right person for the position; however, our investigation into the lobbying trip conflicts has led us to retract our endorsement.
According to documents obtained by the Nexus, Morales failed to communicate with a colleague about transportation to the Sacramento lobby visit. The failure to communicate with the colleague in a timely manner resulted in a failure to organize the transportation.
Further documents obtained by the Nexus on Tuesday, April 24, revealed Morales’s failure to complete the tasks she volunteered to do for a Washington, D.C. lobby visit, resulting in the untimely scheduling of flights and hotel accommodations.
“From the beginning of planning the conference, I informed the EVPSA that I was having problems with my phone because it had been in repairs for a minute. As I couldn’t afford to buy a new phone, I told everyone involved in planning the conference that I would be providing my support during my individual meetings with them, rather than over text,” Morales told the Nexus in a statement.
“Since the beginning of 2018, due to some family financial issues, I haven’t had phone service which has made communication, at times, impossible. This is something every person I work with has been aware of since the beginning,” Morales added in the statement.
“As colleagues and friends, the other people involved in the planning of the trips were aware of some of the mental health related issues I was personally going through at the time,” Morales also said in the statement.
The editorial board believes it is best to formally retract the endorsement of Mayela Morales for the executive position. We apologize for our endorsement in light of this new information.
Update: This article was updated to include a statement from Morales regarding her communication while organizing the lobby visits.