Allegations of Associated Students election violations rocked the residence halls yesterday as copies of The Flush were ripped down from bathroom stalls and replaced with Student Voice party posters.
In several Santa Rosa and Anacapa Residence Hall bathrooms, copies of The Flush -the Residence Hall Association periodical – were damaged or removed and substituted with SV fliers. Additionally, on some newsletters, the photograph of Corey Huber, current RHA President and Open People’s Party External Vice President of Statewide Affairs candidate, was scratched out.
At last week’s A.S. Legislative Council meeting, a resolution was introduced alleging that Huber has an unfair advantage in the EVPSA race because his name and picture are seen in The Flush monthly in the “Message From the President” section. However, at Wednesday’s meeting, the resolution was struck from the agenda.
Huber said the situation was troubling, but that he is approaching it from the perspective of RHA President as opposed to an election candidate.
“There’s a lot of stress right now, and to have to take time out of my agenda is very strenuous,” Huber said. “As for this being a conflict of interest, I want to make sure that line is very clear, and I’m not crossing it. This is an RHA concern – it’s about respecting residents’ rights.”
Huber’s opponent, SV candidate Justin Reyes, said he was surprised by the incident.
“It is ridiculous, and my sense is that I have no idea who did it,” Reyes said. “I run a clean campaign and Student Voice runs a clean campaign. It detracts from the whole point of what the election process is for me.”
OPP University Owned Housing Representative candidate Michael Lambright also said the identity of the vandal or vandals responsible is not yet known.
“Nobody saw it happen,” Lambright said. “We just saw the after effect of Student Voice fliers – and no Flushes.”
Megan Klein, the Internal Vice President candidate for SV, maintains that her party was not associated with the actions.
“As far as I know, it was no one that is running with us,” Klein said. “We made it very clear to everyone to be very respectful, and we told them all the regulations. I honestly don’t think any of the candidates have done that, but I can’t say the same for people who aren’t running [in the election]. It could be friends of people or people who just feel passionately for Student Voice.”
Meanwhile, RHA and SV are also currently involved in a dispute over policy violations. SV visited dorms Tuesday and Wednesday to campaign and ask students to sign pledges to vote, but RHA policy states that anyone who wants to campaign in the halls must first formally request permission to do so.
OPP petitioned the RHA Coordinating Board – the representative council for the residence halls – this Tuesday and was granted permission to campaign in the dorms. SV did not approach the board, but according to Klein, the political party did not believe that it had to because the candidates had signed A.S. election code forms.
“What they had us sign in the election code didn’t say we needed to go to the RHA Coordinating Board the week before to get permission, so that’s a discrepancy that’s happening now,” Klein said. “They’re trying to figure out who has the final jurisdiction, if it’s [A.S.] Elections Committee or RHA. For us, we [feel] we already signed something that said we could be in the dorms.”
According to the A.S. Legal Code, all printed materials must comply with RHA as well as Election Code policies.
Huber said RHA is currently working to resolve the matter.