Election board suspends second Social Justice Referendum sanction
The undergraduate student government Election Board rescinded their second sanction toward the Social Justice Referendum on Tuesday. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)
By Nicholas Yu
May 3, 2016 5:54 pm
Editor’s note: The referenda on the Undergraduate Students Association Council ballot do not directly compete with one another, but in the interest of full transparency, we believe it is worth noting one of the referenda on this year’s ballot directly benefits the Daily Bruin financially. The Daily Bruin and Bruinwalk.com referendum would support the UCLA Communications Board, the Daily Bruin’s publisher.
The undergraduate student government election board has suspended their second sanction toward the Social Justice Referendum Tuesday to allow the judicial board to process a petition filed by the referendum’s representatives.
Jazz Kiang, designated campaign representative for the Social Justice Referendum, said he petitioned against the two sanctions issued by the election board toward the Social Justice Referendum Tuesday morning. The election board, which sanctioned the referendum Sunday and Monday nights over the same election code violations, rescinded the second sanction to allow the judicial board to investigate into the claims against the first sanction, said Lindsay Allen, Election Board chair.
The Social Justice Referendum aims to fund a variety of student-run retention and outreach programs on campus, and would increase student fees by $24.99 per quarter. The referendum is one of four ballot proposals in this year’s spring USAC election.
On Sunday, the election board sanctioned Social Justice Referendum for spending roughly $6,600 over the $750 spending cap and failing to disclose the source of about $3,300 in funding, according to election board expense reports.
Kiang said representatives have not released the source of $3,300 in funding because they had not yet raised the funds, but reported it because they expected to spend the money. He added representatives plan to report the funding source Tuesday night.
The first sanction required referendum representatives to draft a revised expense report by 10 a.m. on Monday, barred supporters from campaigning from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and required all campaigning material bought in excess of $750 to be returned to the election board office by Tuesday morning.
Allen said no referendum representatives came to the election board office to draft a revised expense report and campaigning material has not been returned to the office.
The second sanction barred the Social Justice Referendum from campaigning Tuesday and required a representative to schedule a meeting with the election board by Wednesday 4 p.m.
Kiang said he filed the petition because he thinks the election code was vague – it compared ballot propositions, or referenda, to candidate and slate spending limits without further specifying. He added referendum supporters assumed each line item was equivalent to a non-executive candidate, and could warrant up to $750 in campaign spending.
According to those standards, the referendum’s campaign spending was within its limit because the referendum’s 11 line items should be analogous to a slate that runs 11 candidates, totaling a limit of $8,250, Kiang said.
He added he thinks the campaign spending limit for referenda should be much higher than the $750 limit for nonexecutive candidates because the referendum will have a larger impact on the campus than a council member would.
“The referendum has the magnitude of raising $2.5 million for social justice programming services,” Kiang said. “It cannot be compared to a general representative candidate.”
Allen said the two sanctions issued for the Social Justice Referendum were based on the same election code violations, so the election board decided it would be unfair to let the second sanction stand while the judicial board was investigating the first.
“It would be impudent not to respect the due process of judicial board if we made the Social Justice Referendum adhere to the sanction today,” Allen said. “Election board is waiting to hear the feedback on the first sanction before ruling again on the same violations.”
Rachel Beyda, judicial board chief justice, said in an email statement the judicial board plans to decide whether to evaluate the petition by Tuesday night.
If the judicial board accepts the petition, board members will likely hold a hearing Wednesday, Allen said. She would not comment on whether the second sanction would stand if the judicial board decides not to evaluate the petition.