Former Associated Students Student Advocate General third-year literature major Bailey Loverin and former A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs fourth-year sociology and Asian American studies major Beatrice Contreras both resigned from their positions on the A.S. executive board earlier this month.
Loverin and Contreras were elected to their respective positions in a campus-wide election last Spring. Contreras ran with the Open People’s Party while Loverin ran as an independent, per S.A.G. office tradition. After Contreras’s election, however, OPP rescinded her party membership mid-May following controversy regarding Contreras’s alleged sexual assault of another student.
While Contreras offered no comment, Loverin cited personal medical issues as the cause of her departure. Both will be replaced in a special election held this fall.
According to second-year political science major and A.S. Elections Committee chair Fiona Hayman, the forthcoming election is challenging because it has no precedent.
“I think the last special election at UCSB was in 2006 and it was under completely different circumstances, so we’re working to make it pretty similar to the general election with regards to the timeline,” Hayman said.
Hayman said much of the election process would be improvised.
“We’re going to have to play a lot of it by ear,” Hayman said. “We don’t really know who’s going to run yet, and how many candidates there are going to be, so a lot of it is still up in the air.”
According to A.S. President and fourth-year sociology and psychology double major Ali Guthy, the special election will most likely be held during the fifth week of fall quarter.
Hayman said the special election will be similar to the general election held in April in that it will not only feature replacement candidates for Contreras and Loverin, but that it could potentially include new fee initiatives and referendums, should any be proposed. According to Guthy, no initiatives have been proposed yet and more specific information regarding deadlines for filing candidacy and referendum proposals will be released Oct. 3.
“This is also an opportunity for any A.S. entities or campus departments to propose any new fee initiatives or referendums for the ballot,” Hayman said. “It’s not just going to be electing new executives for those two positions, so there’s also other stuff that’s going to be on the ballot.”
According to current A.S. External Vice President of Statewide Affairs and fourth-year political science and film & media studies double major Melvin Singh, both Contreras and Loverin are experiencing difficulties in their personal lives which they feel prevent them from adequately performing their former executive duties.
“All of the executives do this job knowing what they are getting into, so it does take a whole lot to resign,” Singh said in an email. “They both had things happen in their personal lives after taking office that prevented them from feeling that they could give their positions the attention and effort they felt it deserved. It’s not an easy circumstance for anyone else to imagine being in, but they experienced it.”
In her resignation statement, Loverin said she could not dedicate the time and energy required for the position.
“Due to personal and unforeseen medical issues, I have neither the energy nor the time to the extent of what is deserved by the student body and by the Association to dedicate to the Office of the Student Advocate,” Loverin said in an email. Guthy said Contreras and Loverin’s resignations would not affect any of their respective offices’ work.
“I want to emphasize that the absence of these executive officers during the first few weeks of fall quarter will not limit the work conducted by the entire executive team,” Guthy said in an email. “We are all very excited for the upcoming year, and we have a plan in effect to ensure that the EVPLA and OSA offices remain active and functioning until the executive officers are replaced.”
[Correction: The article originally incorrectly implied the election will feature fee initiatives, but Hayman’s actually said the election will be an “opportunity” for other ballot measures to be proposed, not that such measures already have been proposed. The article has been changed accordingly.]
This story appeared on page 1 of Thursday, September 25, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.