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.
actually, the meeting was moved to Corwin Pavilion; it will no longer be in the Flying A room .
Can somebody explain “members of the IFC decided that certain votes meant more than others.”
Just confused, not trying to make an argument
Basically their argument is that because IFC awarded philanthropy grants for high voter turnout in fraternities, that meant they decided that fraternity member votes meant more than others. This is a dumb argument, because everyone has the freedom to vote, and every vote literally is worth the exact same. Encouraging high voter turnout with the incentive of philanthropy grants is in no way scandalous or against any rules. The only reason this is blowing up is because members from losing parties can’t wrap their brains around the fact that the student body would rather have CU candidates in AS than… Read more »
How do you figure the Nexus is blowing this up? They let the IFC President submit a letter explaining the situation. I think they are being pretty fair. They also used “allegedly” in the headline because they realize this is merely an allegation which is more than I can say for other people. The Nexus reported it because the Elections Committee made the accusation, so it’s newsworthy. Don’t lump the Nexus with the other yahoos.
The nexus is being unfair by running with the Elections committee’s side of the story without giving due weight to the other side in this article. Running an article with a headline this biased, and repeatedly referring to the “bribery scandal” without explaining what actually occurred, is horrifically irresponsible journalism. The IFC has a history of awarding grants to chapters with high voter turnout. This is nothing new, and is meant simply to encourage participation and engagement in campus politics. No monetary incentives were distributed as a reward for voting for any particular candidates, parties, or ballot measures. Grants were… Read more »
The philanthropic grants in question would be put into Fraternity chapter accounts, administered by OSL, and their checks receipts to make sure the purchases are within campus regulations. Fraternities hold events such as SigEp’s Surf and Turf that offer food and entertainment (such as a band) and requires a ticket or wrist band. They don’t have to be open to the public, but since it’s a philantrophy, most events are open to anyone to generate more ticket sales. These philanthropy grants would be (since the alleged ‘bribery’ has not even taken place in terms of a transfer of funds) transferred… Read more »