Associated Students Internal Vice President Bee Schaefer filed requests for restraining orders against three UC Santa Barbara students in late October. 

The evidentiary hearing in December will allow both Schaefer and the defendants to file supplementary evidence regarding the restraining orders. Daily Nexus File Photo

One case was dismissed and two will proceed to evidentiary hearings, a commissioner decided on Nov. 7 in the Santa Barbara Superior Court. 

Schaefer was granted temporary restraining orders against the three students — Ted Giardello, Aneri Patel and Jay Shreedhar — after filing petitions against them on Oct. 19-20. 

All three restraining order requests were in response to Giardello, Patel and Shreedhar’s publicly voiced discontent and anger about Schaefer’s alleged abdication of summer responsibilities, including failing to appoint necessary Senate positions and communicate with Associated Students (A.S.) members over the summer. 

Schaefer has maintained that all allegations against her are false, and said in the restraining order requests that Giardello, Patel and Shreedhar caused her undue harm and threatened her safety. In the restraining order filings, she requested that all defendants cease all contact with her and remove social media posts that reference her. 

The case against Giardello was dismissed at the Monday morning hearing without prejudice, meaning Schaefer could theoretically re-file the order if further evidence is presented. 

Evidentiary hearings in regard to Patel and Shreedhar will be held on Dec. 12, although the court tentatively ruled that Schaefer did not meet the burden of proof for a restraining order against Shreedhar. 

In public court documents obtained by the Nexus, Schaefer said that several emails sent by Giardello — who chairs the A.S. organization the Living History Project — to the A.S. body “created a ‘credible threat of violence’ by creating a false narrative of events and circumstances.”

Schaefer claimed in the documents that Giardello sent a Sept. 27 email that called for her removal from her position and listed a variety of duties he alleged that she had failed to complete over the summer — because he did not want to participate in mandatory A.S. diversity, equity and inclusion training. 

“Ted requested and made a call to action of Mobilization to A.S. Students and the UCSB Student population at large; to incite anger/threats and violence on the Senate floor, cause public hysteria, and initiated a modern-day public lynching of me, my identity and existence from the space,” the restraining order filing read. 

The evidence compiled against Giardello consisted of email threads to the A.S. body and Schaefer regarding honoraria, mandatory A.S. training and Schaefer’s job performance, as well as Daily Nexus articles written regarding the continuing A.S. unrest. 

“As I reviewed the documentation that’s attributed to him, I certainly see a strident tone in his email. I sense frustration in his email communication. I see him voicing his honest opinion about your performance in the position that you have at UC Santa Barbara,” Commissioner Carol Lee Hubner, who is overseeing the case, said in court. 

“I did not find this physical violence, I did not see a credible threat of physical violence. And, I didn’t find anything in the petition and its attachments … that would rise to the level of a restraining order that would put a reasonable person in fear,” she continued.  “I don’t find anything in that packet — a 48-page packet — that would rise to the level of issuing a civil harassment restraining order against him.”

Schaefer also filed a student code of conduct case against Giardello, which was dismissed.

Schaefer expressed discontent at the hearing that her restraining order case against Giardello would be dismissed. 

“Respectfully, I’m in disagreement … I don’t think there’s enough time to respond. I want to submit more, and I want to hear your response,” she said. “I don’t want to be silenced in my coming forward and trying to express the severity of what’s happened. Today, I’m not here with legal counsel. I’m here representing myself.”

In an interview with the Nexus, Giardello said he would potentially be pursuing legal action against Schaefer if she continued to try and take legal action against him. 

The majority of the evidence in the restraining order request against Patel — the social media coordinator of the A.S. Student Commission on Racial Equality — revolved around a Sept. 28 tweet from her public Twitter and her comment during a Sept. 28 Senate public forum, where she voiced discontent and anger with Schaefer’s behavior. 

“not to mention Bee Schaefer (@beeshondi) paid herself $3000 for the summer when she was only supposed to be paid $350! Girl ima come for you! BEE SCARED BITCH!” Patel tweeted. 

The tweet, which has since been deleted, referenced allegations that Schaefer had received honoraria for the summer while all other A.S. student employees remained unpaid because Schaefer had failed to appoint an honoraria committee or send out summer honoraria applications over the summer. 

Schaefer, alongside other A.S. executives, received a summer honoraria allotment of $1,000, not $3,000, because executive honoraria were pre-allocated. All other A.S. employees did not receive summer honoraria and an honoraria committee was not appointed, although Schaefer has maintained in email communications to A.S. that the delays were due to internal A.S. administrative dysfunction outside of her control. 

At the Sept. 28 Senate meeting, which Chancellor Henry T. Yang attended, Patel issued a similar sentiment, asking the chancellor if he was aware that Schaefer “took $3,000 worth of student tuition.” 

Schaefer said in the restraining order filing that she filed a no-contact order request through UCSB against Patel after she saw the tweet on Sept. 30. Schaefer claimed in the filing and at the hearing that after the no-contact was filed on Oct. 9 and after the post was originally removed on Oct. 13, the “post was reposted to notification” on Oct. 15. 

“Miss Patel’s post on one of the social media sites certainly was a little more threatening, let’s just say that,” the commissioner said at the hearing, noting that Schaefer vaguely referenced Patel threatening Schaefer in-person although the filing was vague. 

In the police report included in the restraining order filing against Patel, it was recorded that “a female South East Asian/Indian woman approached [Schaefer] and said the word ‘Death’ which was directed towards Schaefer which caused her to fear for her safety.” It was unclear whether or not Schaefer was claiming Patel issued this threat to her in the report. 

Hubner also noted that Schaefer claimed Patel had violated the UCSB no-contact order against her by reposting the original tweet. 

“With respect to the tweet, I’m not aware of any violations of any no-contact order. As far as I’m aware, my client wants nothing to do with Miss Schaefer. As it seems, a number of people want nothing to do with her, because she seems to be using restraining orders to retaliate against people who are making political comments,” Patel’s lawyer said during the hearing. 

“We’ll present evidence that my client never had any contact with Miss Schaefer, aside from speaking at one public forum, which post-dated the tweet. The suggestion of the tweet is ‘I will come to the public forum and make a speech,’ which is what occurred,” he continued. 

Patel’s lawyer said he plans to present further evidence in her defense at the evidentiary hearing. Patel did not immediately respond to the Nexus’s request for comment regarding the restraining order. 

In response to the commissioner and the lawyer’s statements at the hearing, Schaefer maintained that the situation did not revolve around political expression and that she had credible reasons to fear for her life. 

“It’s not political, that’s discounting my experience. The fact that I filed with you all today, that is ignorance if I came here just for politics. And, that is a counterargument that is weak and not acceptable. My life has been threatened, from Ted Giardello’s statement to Aneri Patel … accosting me in the Senate and telling me to fear. I am scared,” she said. 

“I don’t want this to be seen as young, passionate hearsay. We are all elected officials and appointed officials who have an obligation to maintain dignity, respect and not threaten others. I’ve been threatened and I want to know where the bar is,” Schaefer continued. 

Schaefer filed a restraining order request on Oct. 18 against Shreedhar on the basis of receiving “threatening messages online” from him, and cited a Sept. 28 Twitter post as the first incident of harassment.

“I’m ngl if CODE’s [Commission on Disability Equity] board members don’t all get full compensation for the amount of work we’ve been doing over the summer despite being unelected I’m going to fight someone,” Shreedhar, who is the co-chair of CODE, stated in his tweet. 

Hubner said that her tentative decision is to deny the restraining order request against Shreedhar, and cited the provided evidence as unsubstantial. 

“What I saw was a vague reference to ‘If we don’t get paid for the work we did all summer to keep things together, I’m going to fight someone.’ It was a very generalized, not specific, kind of venting that seems so typical of social media interactions these days,” Hubner said. 

Schaefer’s restraining order request against Shreedhar included descriptions of the alleged previous and most recent incidents of harassment, where she described fearing for her “life, safety and wellbeing,” due to Shreedhar, Giardello and Patel’s actions.

Further evidence that Schaefer presented against Shreedhar included emails sent by Shreedhar to Schaefer, on the subject of mandatory A.S. trainings and a lack of accessibility of the trainings. 

“Hello Bee, I will not sugarcoat my feelings on this matter. I have been personally attempting diplomatic communication with you for two full weeks now and no longer have the patience to do so. Please take this email as my personal feedback on your choices and legacy as a leader in the AS executive branch,” the email began. 

The email went on to strongly voice discontent about the trainings. The restraining order filing also provided further examples of Shreedhar tweeting his discontent regarding the perceived lack of accessibility of the A.S. trainings.

Shreedhar voiced the same discontent to A.S. President Gurleen Pabla, the Nexus previously reported, who then issued an executive order on Oct. 2 to cancel scheduled trainings and push the deadline back.

The restraining order case against Shreedhar was not resolved at the Monday hearing and will proceed to the evidentiary hearing in December. Shreedhar did not immediately respond to the Nexus’s request for comment regarding the restraining order.

In Shreedhar’s restraining order filing, Schaefer mentioned Sohum Kalia — a student and A.S. senator who recently filed a Judicial Council case on behalf of the A.S. Internal Affairs Committee alleging that Schaefer’s current strike against A.S. violates her job as per legal code.

“I believe Ted, Aneri, Jay, and Sohum are working together to cause me fear and exile me from the space on a false allegation without due process,” Schaefer said.

No legal restraining order was filed against Kalia.  

Schaefer did not immediately respond to the Nexus’s request for comment regarding the restraining orders, and the evidentiary hearing in December will allow both Schaefer and the defendants to file supplementary evidence regarding the restraining orders. 

Sindhu Ananthavel contributed reporting.

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Holly Rusch
Holly Rusch (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Rusch was the University News Editor and co-Lead News Editor for the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com or hollyrusch@dailynexus.com.