Monday, February 18

Election board sanctions Bruins United for early social media posts

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This post was updated April 18 at 11:00 a.m.

The undergraduate student government election board sanctioned a slate Friday for violating social media regulations.

The board ruled that all nine of this year’s Bruins United candidates had begun campaigning online before they were allowed. The candidates simultaneously uploaded Facebook profile pictures, in which they wore UCLA gear, and tagged each other, the sanction notice said.

The election board decided that the sanctioned candidates must untag their fellow Bruins United members from their posts. Bruins United is also restricted from campaigning for one day, from noon April 17 to noon April 18.

This is the third campaign sanction of the year, and it came forty minutes after the election board sanctioned an independent candidate for creating a campaign-related Facebook page before social media campaigning was allowed.

The sanctioned candidates are Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh, Sophie Butler, Ashraf Beshay, Kayla He, Justin Jackson, Celina Avalos, Aaron Boudaie, Emma Zawacki and Neha Quraishi.

Social media campaigning began Monday at noon.

[Related: USAC Election Board issues first sanction of the year]

The election board oversees the Undergraduate Students Association Council election process and enforces the election code, which lists regulations on election conduct. If a candidate violates the code, the board must investigate the issue and decide what sanction, or punishment, to issue.

The election code defines campaigning as any effort to influence any voter’s decision for or against any candidate, slate or ballot initiative running in the election.

There are 21 candidates and two slates, or campus political parties, in this year’s USAC election. Bruins United is running nine candidates and Defend Affirmative Action Party is running two candidates. There are 10 candidates running independently.

Bruins United has historically occupied the majority of seats on the council. It originally ran 10 candidates this year, but Facilities commissioner candidate Xander Barbar dropped out April 10.

Bruins United presidential candidate Mokhtarzadeh and signatory Akhil Cherukupally declined to comment on the situation.

Voting for 2017 USAC elections begins May 1 and results are announced May 5.

Click here for full coverage of the 2017 USAC elections.

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