Article Published Friday June 15, 2007.
For the second time in less than a month, Associated Students may lose another vice president-elect, pending a decision from the student government’s judicial council next week.
Earlier in the week, the A.S. Elections Committee ruled that External Vice President of Local Affairs-elect Lindsey Quock could not assume her executive position as a result of her decision to withdraw from UCSB during Spring Quarter. Quock has since contested the decision, bringing the matter before the A.S. Judicial Council at a closed hearing in the staff room of Francisco Torres Residence Hall yesterday at 8 a.m. If the A.S. Judicial Council votes to uphold the Elections Committee’s decision, a special election for EVPLA may take place this fall.
Quock, a second-year global studies major, ran unopposed with Students’ Party and received 2364 out of 3768 votes in the Spring Election. The possible exclusion of Quock from the position would mark the second time that an A.S. vice president-elect did not take office following the 2007 Spring Election. On May 21, Internal Vice President-elect Ian Taylor, an Open People’s Party candidate, withdrew from his post prior to his swearing-in, opting instead to attend the University of California, Berkeley, next fall. The position was then filled by SP runner-up Matt Jackson.
According to the A.S. Legal Code, executive officers must complete GPA and unit requirements in the Spring Quarter of the election, as well as their term of office. Additionally, the Legal Code permits an exception in the case of an extenuating circumstance. However, despite Quock’s appeal, the A.S. Elections Committee deemed her ineligible to serve as EVPLA. As a result, Quock sought another appeal from the A.S. Judicial Council.
A.S. Interim Executive Director Marilyn Dukes, who serves as an advisor to A.S. Judicial Council, said the council could overturn the election committee’s decision.
“There was an appeal of elections that had been filed,” Dukes said. “Judicial Council hears the details of that appeal and decides whether it has merit.”
The Judicial Council also denied the Daily Nexus access to the Thursday morning meeting, invoking rules found in the A.S. Legal Code that stipulate that its members can cap the number of witnesses present at the hearing.
Judicial Council Chair Russell McMillan said the council elected to allow the Nexus’ presence only with Quock’s consent. The EVPLA-elect then chose not to grant the Nexus access to her hearing and declined to comment following the hearing.
McMillan, a third-year global studies major, said the Judicial Council may revise these rules later as the board has remained inactive for nearly two and a half years and needs time to decide its policies. He said the board was revived about two months ago and has heard only one other case.
According to A.S. Legal Code, if an executive position remains vacant before the fifth week of Fall Quarter, the student body must hold a special election to fill the office. Since Quock did not have any competitors during the Spring Election, the students may have to vote again this fall, pending Judicial Council’s decision. The EVPLA acts as the UCSB student representative in all Isla Vista and Santa Barbara County related affairs and advises the A.S. president on local issues.
Earlier in the quarter, the Judicial Council ruled in favor of A.S. Finance Board’s decision to allocate $5,025 to the annual Women of Color Appreciation ceremony sponsored by Black Pioneers Renaissance Organization. Finance Board Chair Nick Szamet and students had claimed the allocation violated A.S. policy requiring all Finance Board funded events to remain open to everyone in the student community. The BPRO event, which took place aboard a small ship in the Santa Barbara Harbor, only allowed 15 males associated with the group to attend due to space constraints.
Former A.S. Internal Vice President Adam Graff, a 2006 UCSB alumnus, said the Judicial Council’s absence was due to the inability of the organization to fill the group’s seats. He also said the last case Judicial Council heard was in Spring 2004 when its members allowed Students’ Party candidate Cervin Morris to run for A.S. president despite being four units short of eligibility. Morris went on to win the election with a 61.4 percent vote.
Besides Ian Taylor’s withdrawal last month, A.S. has also witnessed two executive resignations over the past two years. Former IVP and winner of last year’s spring election, OPP candidate Felix Hu, resigned on Dec. 13, 2006 to study in Washington D.C. On-Campus Representative and pro tempore Cecilia Perez assumed Hu’s position after his departure. Additionally, in Feb. 2006, External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Felicia Cruz resigned from her post citing personal reasons. State Affairs Organizing Director Bill Shiebler accepted the position thereafter and was later elected to serve as EVPSA once again following the 2006 Spring Election.
In such cases, with the exception of Taylor’s withdrawal, a special election was not required as the resignations took place after the fifth week of Fall Quarter for those school years. As for Taylor, his withdrawal preceded the swearing-in of the IVP position, thus allowing the runner-up to take the office.