The Winter 2009 ASUCD Election occurred. The dates of the general election were Wednesday February 18th and Thursday 19th, 2009. Polls officially open at 8 AM on Wednesday February 18th and polls officially close at 11:30 AM* on Friday February 20th, 2009. ASUCD members cast their vote at http://elections.ucdavis.edu 'or at one of the polling stations managed by the ASUCD Elections Committee. The announcement of election results were held at the Memorial Union Patio at Noon. *Between 6:30 pm and 10 pm on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, students were unable to vote because the UC Davis Central Authentication Service (the system that logs students into MyUCD, SISWEB, etc.) went down, so the voting deadline was extended to compensate for the time were votes couldn't be cast.
|Winter 2009 ASUCD Elections|
|M. Momo Newbon|
|Lula Ahmed-Falol / Rebecca Schwartz|
|Joe Chatham / Chris Dietrich|
|ERA, TGIF, ICU Act|
Senate Candidate television advertisements can be viewed on the ASUCD Youtube Channel.
- Joe Chatham and Chris Dietrich, by an astonishingly tight 13 votes
- Justin Gold
- Shawdee Rouhafza
- Previn Witana
- Joemar Clemente
- Trevor Taylor
- Kevin Massoudi
- Interviewing Committee Update Act - passed
- The Green Initiative Fund - failed
- External Representation Amendment - passed
For alternate universe results and mathematical analysis, see /Bizarro World.
Ballot Measure Details
- External Representation Amendment - Legislative Constitutional Amendment
Amends the ASUCD Constitution to provide that no fee may be created or passed by ASUCD for the purpose of funding an external organization, such as an advocacy group or other coalition. Provides for the funding of any organization outside of UC Davis through Senate approval out of the ASUCD General Fund. Fiscal impact: No impact in the near term, but it could potentially prevent the passage of a future fee increase.
- The Green Initiative Fund - Initiative Fee Referendum
An initiative to add a $4/quarter ($12/year) fee for all undergraduate students to finance projects to support sustainability on campus and finance educational projects. The fee will be administered by the Grants-Making Committee, with 4 undergraduate members, two campus administrators, and one faculty member. Fiscal Impact: If approved by Student Affairs, this fee will generate $216,000 in revenue for campus sustainability projects, and $72,000 for financial aid. Could potentially generate an unknown amount of revenue for UCD and ASUCD through efficiency savings.
- Interviewing Committee Update Act - Legislative Constitutional Amendment
Amends the ASUCD Constitution to remove references to the ASUCD Student Government Advisor from the ASUCD Constitution. The Student Government Adviser position was removed in ASUCD's last budget cycle. As the prior role of the Advisor was a non-voting role, the voting members of the hiring committee for the ASUCD Court remains unchanged. Fiscal impact: None.
Elections Committee Announcements
The Senate Candidates' Debate were held on February 11th, 2009 at 11:30 AM in the ASUCD Coffee House. The Elections Committee was joined by the California Aggie Editor In Chief Richard Procter and Campus Editor Aly Bonde as the California Aggie once again co-sponsored the candidate debates.
The Executive Ticket and Ballot Measures Debate was held on February 12th, 2009 at 11:30 AM in the ASUCD Coffee House and was co-sponsored by the California Aggie.
In addition to the Coffee House debates, the Elections Committee will sponsor two Student Housing candidate forums/debates in the Segundo and Tercero student housing areas. The first debate will be held on Wednesday February 11th, 2009 at 7 PM in the Thompson Hall Ballroom located in Segundo North (SegNo) and will host the candidates for ASUCD Senate. The second debate will be held on Tuesday February 17th, 2009 at 7 PM. The debate will take place in the Tercero Main Lounge (located under the DC), the debate will focus on the candidates for the executive ticket and the pro/con on the ballot measures.
Hot Issues/Controversies/Wild Speculation
- ACT making a video, misleading students about their intentions and receiving much criticism.
The newly founded ACT slate ran into some controversy as it was getting its feet off the ground. A video showing students holding a sign with "ACT" on it was criticized because it has been alleged that the subjects were not informed of what the footage would be used for. This incident brought questions about the integrity of the ACT slate.
- The Chad Roberts scandal.
Chad Roberts graduated from UCD in Spring 2008, with a quarter left in his term. He went to Senate meetings intermittently that fall while working full-time in Sacramento, but is criticized for missing both meetings and office hours while receiving his $49/week Senate stipend. Though Chad Roberts is gone, some believe this issue is relevant in the Winter 2009 election because his former colleagues on Senate are the only four candidates for executive office. These four candidates did not take action against Chad Roberts. It should be noted that the only action they could take is to start a recall campaign, which any member of ASUCD is capable of. Generally, student government officers have not been required to resign when they graduate or leave school (e.g. Bob Black, Brent Laabs, Adrian Petersen)
- Or censure.
- Censure isn't actually doing something, it's just a way of pretending you're actually doing something. And we all know office hours are basically BS anyway, right?
- Wireless internet (Many candidates are running on this)
For years expansion of wireless are been a hot-issue to students. Recent gains have been made by Joe Chatham and many others so there are hopes that expanded wireless will be obtainable in the near future. However, Senators have been working on this for over five years, and don't really accomplish very much other than maybe give IET some more information.
- US Bank deal
A proposed deal to sell the East Conference Room to US Bank has angered a lot of ASUCD officials. They claim that the deal would not give students enough control of the new revenues and that the ECR is much needed space for students. It has been said that students were not given a chance to have input into the proposal but three ASUCD Presidents before Ivan Carrillo were informed of the deal.
- "Yes on TGIF" refusing to sign to voluntary spending limits
The TGIF campaign decided to forego spending limits, which they claim is out of a necessity to reach enough students for TGIF to pass. This decision made them ineligible to debate the NO campaign at the official ASUCD Forums. However, they're required by Student Affairs to have two debates for the initiative to pass, which will take place somewhere else.
- ASUCD Fall Kickoff Fiasco
- ASUCD Budget
Due to decreases in enrollment, ASUCD is facing a projected $40,000 budget deficit even after a year of significant cuts.
- LEAD controlling 10 of 12 senate seats.
This is mainly due to lack of competition up until this election. The creation of ACT largely stemmed from LEAD's supermajority control of the Senate, with some disillusioned LEAD supporters and independents backing it.
The California Aggie Endorsements
Every quarter the Aggie sits down with ASUCD candidates and decides endorses the candidates they feel are most qualified for the job. This quarter they endorsed the following candidates.
Ballot Measures: TGIF: No
Everyone should free to add recommendations here as you do not need to be an official representative of any club or organization, or even a student in order to issue "endorsement-like" statements!
Timeline of Events and Scandals
February 18th 8:00 AM : Voting Begins February 19th Noonish : Word is out that the results have been leaking to both the LEAD and Chatham camps. Both sides ramp up campaigning activities, much to the annoyance of everyone not running for office.
Be advised. So far, most of these are unsubstantiated rumors. Until proof is provided on here in the form of picture-evidence or documented violations of election codes or the law.
LEAD allegedly engaged in scandals as they tried to secure more votes for Lula and Rebecca. These incidences include:
- Flyer distribution at computer labs, in violation of the ASUCD Election Codes
- Listserv abuse by a unit director https://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives-secure/cccn/log0902/0008.html
- Alleged harassment of students by LEAD supporters/candidates at the Shields Library which ended with police involvement.
ACT allegedly engaged in scandals as they tried to secure more votes for their candidates and the Chatham Camp. These incidences include:
- ACT Chief of Staff, Gianni, going door-to-door in upper-classman Student Housing (the colleges), handing out flyers and condoms.
- ACT Senate Candidates, Justin Gold and Will Klein handing out Condoms with ACT flyers inside the ARC near the computer voting station wearing ASUCD Election t-shirts, possibly meaning to misrepresent themselves as unbiased poll workers. (Confirmed, 1 violation assessed to Justin Gold)
Random people allegedly engaged in scandals as they tried to secure more votes for the Chatham Camp. These incidences include:
- A false emergency call placed to the UC Davis Police department, reporting LEAD candidates for campaigning in front of the library and harassment. Some are claiming this call was placed by Greg Webb however, there is not evidence nor has anyone making this claim come forward to explain why they have accused Webb of placing such a call.
- I would not abuse emergency systems and this claim is baseless. Assuming that I would place an emergency call because of a silly election is insulting and an attack on my character. Sure I wanted Joe to win but I would not resort to tactics that would endanger the lives of others or break any rules. Whoever is making such allegations should contact me before they start make such allegations public because that is just disgusting. - Greg Webb
- Greg Webb referred to SJA for illegally accessing the ASUCD election website throughout the duration of the election.
- True, though the "illegal accessing" wasn't illegal at all and other people did the same. - Greg Webb
On the night of Thursday February 19th, the ASUCD Elections page was defunct due to a login system failure. This potentially silenced voters and because of it voting was extended until 11:30 the next morning.
On Wednesday February 25th, a complaint was filed by Reynaldo Rodriguez alleging voter disenfranchisement and a violation of the ASUCD Bill of Rights. This complaint was referred to SJA and they will be discussing it next week. Because of this new Senators will not be able to be sworn in at the February 26th Senate Meeting.
- Despite the previous statement, the Senators were in fact sworn in with no objections, on February 26, 2009. Senator Mo Torres motioned to make an objection to the swearing in, but did not make his motion in time for the presiding officer, Vice President Molly Fluet, to honor it as per Robert's Rules of Order. The Winter 2009 senators were sworn in because the ASUCD Constitution states that they must be sworn in one week after the election ends, at the next ASUCD Senate meeting.
2009-01-15 09:32:29 This will indeed be an exciting election season, with the first real competition to LEAD for the executive office in some time. —MaxMikalonis
2009-01-15 13:28:30 I'll get on the bandwagon early, and issue a strong endorsement-like statement in favor of the External Representation Amendment. —BrentLaabs
2009-01-15 21:30:34 I too endorse the External Representation Amendment. —EliYani
2009-01-16 00:41:02 Joe Chatham is the kind of leader ASUCD needs right now. I was incredibly skeptical of his fast emergence into student government, because of his self-admitted lack of ASUCD know-how. Joe learned quickly and proved himself. He accomplished the MyStudentGovernment Box, even though he was learning ASUCD along the way. He got his shit done and is still working, even without being on the payroll of the student body. Joe accomplished more than other senators did, without the institutional benefit of the slate. Joe Chatham is progressive; Joe Chatham looks out for students. Past LEAD presidents have come fourth with bold promises and little results. Joe Chatham brought even bolder promises and we've already seen some great results. Chris Dietrich is the perfect balance to Joe Chatham. Chris is honest and works well with others, and he works harder than most senators do. Chris' involvement in ASUCD is humble, it is clear he is in the business of student government for all the right reasons. He's also from Davis, which makes him an incredibly important asset in ASUCD-Davis relations.
It is hard to obtain objectively thinking candidates who are also qualified. Chatham and Dietrich have a depth of experience equivalent to that of their opponents. The difference is that while they have this experience, they have not let the experience bind them with non-comprisable views and false pretenses. They will bring open-mindedness back to ASUCD and with the challenges approaching that's exactly what we need. I personally have many similar views with the LEAD slate and have had some disagreements with both Joe and Chris. This is only because I too am bound by some of the same flaws that plague some in the LEAD slate. However, this election isn't about me and I know that Joe and Chris will do what is best for the students.
I strongly endorse the Chatham/Dietrich ticket and I hope students don't pass up this great opportunity for change. —GregWebb
2009-01-21 20:02:39 What are these amendments? Why don't I know anything about them? Is there information online somewhere? —OscarSabino
- I mentioned to Amy that the webmaster should be fired, for these kind of things. Trevor Taylor is my favorite LEAD candidate right now because of this. - GregWebb
The Student Government Advisor Amendment is an Amendment to eliminate the reference to the Student Government Advisor from the Constitution (as is, the Advisor sits as a non-voting member of the interviewing committee for the Court members). The Advisor position was eliminated in last year's budget cuts, and all references to the position have already been removed from the Bylaws. —Amy Hartstein
The External Representation Amendment is an Amendment that would prevent dedicated fee-initiatives for membership to outside organizations. It was seen by both the Internal Affairs Commission, and the Senate, where it passed unanimously. At this point, it will go on to the ballot during the election, as all amendments must. —Eli Yani
- So when do I get to see it? When I see the ballot? —OscarSabino
So Greg, I understand that critiques for slates (and thus LEAD) have been popular this election, but could you clarify your statement of "an autocratic machine". Is this some subtle accusation of an association with Skynet?
- You are thinking of auto-aware, not autocratic. But LEAD is planning on sending robots back from the future to assassinate ACT's founders.
2009-02-12 16:00:11 I thought the COHO debate shed light on which candidates are best for ASUCD and why they are.
The question posed by me to the candidates was: "Which exec. ticket do you support and what were some of their accomplishments as ASUCD Senators?"
The response was hands up from candidates supporting the Chatham/Dietrich ticket, with actual accomplishments to name. Shortly after, the LEAD candidates chimed in and I was pretty offended at their responses. Among the responses was probably only one solid accomplishment which was a bill to allocate some funding from ASUCD. My favorite response came from Elle Segal, who claimed the "list is endless" without actually naming one thing. Shawdee Rouhafza spent significant time to write up a list of accomplishments. Here list included things like GASC, and most other "LEAD accomplishments" rather than recent ones.
Elle also was asked about where she would make cuts, and it was admirable of her to propose cuts from Lobby Corp which she is part of. "I take pay for hours I'm not here" - Elle Segal, on why Lobby Corp needs cuts
I really liked Chintan Desai and he spoke in favor of allowing members of the public to speak at senate meetings. Him and Trevor Taylor were very good. Jeremia was very well informed on campus safety issues.
Kevin Massoudi and Will Klein have been speaking on behalf of environmental issues with great passion. Zaana and Justin have really put forward a vision for change and shown they have taken the appropriate steps to get things accomplished.
All in all, there are a good number of qualified candidates. The seven I praised are highly recommended. —GregWebb
2009-02-14 18:42:44 Wow...I'm sorry Greg, but your individual endorsements, or anyone else's for that matter who isn't you know, president of some sort of organization and is speaking on behalf of them, don't matter.
- Thanks Matt, I appreciate it. Davis Wiki is a community wiki and many readers of Davis wiki are in fact UCD students. I placed my endorsements and thoughts about the candidates on my public page. I linked the page here so that readers interested in the election could read my views if they chose to do so. I'm not endorsing so it matters, I'm just sharing my views. I think it's sad that you have to go and tell people their opinions don't matter because they don't have a title. If you want a title, I could have put "Internal Affairs Commissioner" or "Vice-President of Membership of DCD" but I'm not interested in titles or using titles to make my opinion more important than others'. I'm just opening up discussion. - GregWebb
- Don't you mean former on one of those titles?
2009-02-14 19:13:08 I believe it would be more appropriate as a comment and not it's own page. —MattBlair
- I suppose but it's a big comment and I plan on making amendments so I thought I'd make a separate page. It's not far from precedent to use a sub-page for comments anyhow, just look at DavidPoole. - GregWebb
- That's in userspace. Besides, David is just being weird for the sake of being weird. —wl
2009-02-17 22:23:55 It will be rather comical if Joe and Chris win on Friday and TGIF doesn't or visa versa. It was Joe's lack of leadership over the past 8 months, I believe, that lead to the poorly structured initiative. I would even wager a guess to say that he kept TGIF under his purview and away from the public in order to use it for political capital this election. If the Yes on TGIF campaign had hosted townhall-esque meetings, or had they incorporated a wider range of elected officials in it's construction, TGIF wouldn't be wrought with failure (if not elective failure, than operational). However, TGIF was written behind closed doors in such a fashion that it has now been met with great disapproval by many campus leaders, and hopefully this will be reflected in the vote. It also goes to show that while the Aggie endorsements are always a prize in ASUCD election, their quality is generally lacking. How the editorial board of the Aggie urges students to vote No on TGIF, but then contradicts themselves by recommending a vote for all it's major proponents running for ASUCD elective office boggles my mind. —AndrewBianchi
- I think it's telling that Joe Chatham was able to overcome the TGIF burden and still win the Aggie endorsement. —GregWebb
- I think it's telling of the Aggie's analytical skills and willful ignorance to the point that Joe will likely introduce TGIF again if it doesn't pass this quarter. —AndrewBianchi
- The Aggie editorial on TGIF said they actually liked the idea of it, they just didn't like the way it was set up. So it seems they wouldn't have a problem if Chatham reintroduced an improved version of it next year. —PeteWillits
- Throughout the campaign, Joe has shown very little respect to both the critiques of TGIF and to the people who say them. Despite this, there are other members of the "Yes" campaign team who have been receptive to the critiques and if they were to participate in the campaign next year, I think Davis will have a far better TGIF to vote on.
2009-02-20 15:58:19 CHANGE IS HERE! —GregWebb
2009-02-20 16:45:04 Congrats to Chris and Joe, I hope you guys keep up the hard work and prove that you earned this! —BrianKim
2009-02-20 17:32:46 just curious, how do you conduct a recount on this type of election? —EvanChait
- Well, the only real way to do a recount would be to run the ballots through the ballot reading software again. There is a 99.99% chance that this will not change anything though because they are electronic ballots and there is no real way for them to be counted incorrectly. All the ballot files are available at http://elections.ucdavis.edu and you can run them yourself to verify the results. And for reference there is no provision in the bylaws or constitution for a recount. So all this will unnecessarily prolong the election and prevent Joe and I from taking our seats. -Chris Dietrich
- It would be hella ironic if the LEAD challenge goes the way of the Winter 2001 elections. There is a real way, however, for the ballots to be counted incorrectly. Pretty much all software has bugs. That being said... I did an instant recount using some different software.
% cat pres_win09.blt | grep '1 1' | wc -l
% cat pres_win09.blt | grep '1 2' | wc -l
The first number is the number of votes you got. The second number is the number of votes your opponents got. This matches the official count. Just about the only problem that could creep in here is if the voting system silently dropped ballots and some didn't get recorded. The election is close enough that such a thing might have made a difference. You won by 0.2% of the vote. However, this is unlikely. —wl
- It's also unlikely that votes got dropped from the system because we can see from the official report that 6142 voters logged in and exactly that number either voted for one of the tickets or selected the "no preference" button (2839+2826+477=6142). We could tell if votes had been dropped because the number of "Confirmers abstaining in this contest" would be off. —Nick Sidney
2009-02-26 00:50:41 Well, it looks like LEAD has become as corrupt as their former rivals now that they have become the most powerful people in ASUCD. It is good to see that everyone still keeps things exciting over there. By the way, regarding the complaint that Reynaldo Rodriguez filed, who exactly is he filing the complaint against? In other words, which individual(s) does he allege did the wrongdoing, and what exactly was that wrongdoing? —PaulAmnuaypayoat
- My intelligence says that LEAD is not united on these elections complaints. Also, I'm guessing that this has to do with Clause 6 of the Student Bill of Rights ("You have the right to a fair vote in all ASUCD elections without any form of disenfranchisement. All ASUCD elections shall be fair and proper as outlined in the ASUCD elections codes."), though I haven't seen the complaint. So basically, we have you Paul to thank for bringing back the Student Bill of Rights! —BrentLaabs
- Well, actually, the thanks should go to my friend Rawi who actually filed the court case against the SGAO for losing it in the first place. Little known fact: I was actually the leader of the opposition campaign against the Bill of Rights during the election in which it was approved by the students, and had I been successful, this current SJA complaint might not be possible today. - Paul Amnuaypayoat
2009-02-26 02:37:26 Wow, that is a little known fact. Personally, I can see why you opposed it — it only gives the illusion of rights. I doubt any court case will stick based on its vague language. —BrentLaabs
2009-02-26 14:34:46 Regarding the police involvement at Shields - UCDPD received a call around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 regarding "some angry protestors." Officers were sent to the scene, but no action was taken and no police report was filed. I confirmed this with UCDPD this afternoon. —jsogul
2009-02-26 14:57:21 Regarding the police thing, I want it to be clear to anyone reading that I would not call the police for a non-emergency. I heard about the incident from Brent Abelson, who was canvassing for Previn Witana. Y'all can keep claiming I called the cops but that's just something I would not do. There was no illegal accessing of the elections website.
I'm not going to get into an edit war, but the difference between allegations against me and allegations against others is that I address them here. I invite others to do the same so we as a community do not misinform. —GregWebb
2009-02-26 16:07:55 With a margin as small as 13, there is no way a run-off could be denied, especially with the site being down and the results leaking for so long. I am usually not a LEAD sympathizer at all however in this case, there is actually a pretty strong legal case here. And this is coming from a King Hall Law Student. At the very least, elections are finally being challenged. I have been at Davis long enough to see corrupt ASUCD Elections go unchallenged, its about time somebody said something. —Jenni
- I think the problem here is not the fact that the results should be challenged — they probably should. I think it has more to do with the way that such results should be challenged. The proper venues are the judicial branch of ASUCD: the ASUCD Court and the Campus Judicial Board. This whole petition circulating about getting a revote is just clouding the issue that should be judged in court on the basis of facts, not rampant anger and gossip. Lets not forget the first time that ASUCD had a revote forced by petition, people overwhelmingly thought it was malicious; the revote was a resounding victory for Horace Hampton. If the angry part of LEAD continues on the current tack, they could end up reducing the party's stature for the next two to three years. —BrentLaabs
- Also, just a brief note about ASUCD elections, ASUCD runs on an instant run-off election system, meaning that the run-off is instantaneous in the event that a majority of voters casting a ballot is not recieved. When the election was run with this system a majority went to Chatham Dietrich and is therefore valid under the elections system. There are no provisions for a separate run-off election. - Chris Dietrich
2009-02-28 21:20:27 the way i read the bylaws is that the elections committee has original jurisdiction over election matters aka they make the initial rulings. The elections committee however can defer that to SJA and thereby take their recommendation. Where the court would come in is if someone were to object to the decision the elections committee made via its deference to SJA. From my understanding this is not a case where the elections committee made a decision and then someone challenged it at SJA. Rather the initial decision which is under the jurisidction of the elections committee has merely been deferred to SJA upon the elections committee request. If however someone does not like that decision, a person can appeal to the court, but the court can only make judgments about the rule of law which the elections committee must follow as precedence. Regardless...I find this a pretty interesting legal question. —StevenLee
That may be the case if it were a complaint against a candidate. Unusually, this complaint is against the Elections Committee itself and as such follows a different procedure.
There is nothing unusual about the complaint being against the election committee. You've never heard of Harney v. Leathers, Mercy et al. v. Elections Committee, and Van Schoelandt v. Elections Committee? ALL the elections cases that I know of thus far have been lawsuits against the elections committee. —wl
I was speaking in a recent context. In the 3 years I have been working in ASUCD, there hasn't been any complaint against the committee, but many against candidates. (Though the Harney one happened my freshmen year, it does change the unusual nature of the complaint)
- Yeah, well the fact that the candidates were seated without suspending the bylaws was probably unconstitutional. At least in every case before the ASUCD court in the past, swearing in was held up pending the case's resolution. As usual, the Senate took the expedient course, but they're really just inspiring real court litigation.
- Sorry Brent, but you definitely don't know the situation @ the Senate. The candidates were seated in accordance with the constitution because there is nothing in that document regarding any pending complaints anywhere, and so it was argued that to delay would cause a lawsuit because the delay was unconstitutional, but several senators had threatened to walk out in order to stop the candidates from being seated. Also, the meeting lasted well past midnight, so it isn't like the Senate was taking the easy route. Also, there definitely weren't the votes to suspend the bylaws, but it was argued that the constitution over-ruled them.
- Wow that clause is extremely poorly written. Might as well swear in Rod Blagojevich, too; doesn't matter if you broke the rules. There still might be precedent by the court that candidates shouldn't have been sworn in, though.
2009-03-02 13:38:17 I'm not a student and could care less who won the election, but as a community onlooker I can't help myself from asking, WTF? The election is over. Move on. There was way more than enough time to vote, and more time was added after the glitch. To call for a new election is a waste of time and money. A better use of that time and money would be to convene a commission to analyze what went wrong and how it may be prevented in the future. But to spend all this time and energy on redoing the election prevents everyone from taking care of the students' business, which is the job of the ASUCD in the first place. By attempting to prevent the seating of the executives and senators now, you simply delay any work from getting done, spiting everyone else for the sake of your own righteous indignation. Move on. —condemned2bfree
2009-03-05 19:18:36 Ahh, I miss being on the Elections Committee. If this is the public controversy I can just imagine what was going on privately. And here I thought my Senate loss by 42 votes was close; I never thought I'd see an executive election decided by 13 votes. - JonathonLeathers
My personal theory is this: LEAD has started to get sort of a "brand name fatigue", as people search for something better. Especially this time, because they haven't had a organized opposition for a long time. So the one time that qualified people run (to actually win; Rob and Arlen were insanely qualified), they had a decent shot of winning. A major boost to the opposition was the fact that LEAD was running a woman, and men just "seem" more presidential at UCD. So while people are up in arms about the election being racist, the reality is that our generation isn't really racist, nor does it see membership in another race as a negative attribute (this is not to say that our generation doesn't perpetuate racially biased social structures). However, sexism is alive and well, and works at a more subtle level. ASUCD has only had 5 female presidents in 35 years — for comparison, ASU Minnesota had at least this many before 1975. Additionally, LEAD was in charge for a long while, so it becomes a good target for blaming the incompetence that comes with being a student government. With no one else to compare to in student memory (4 years), it isn't too hard to convince people that its time for a change.
Meanwhile, LEAD didn't manage to leverage its advantages very effectively this election. LEAD paid the price in votes for opposing The Green Initiative Fee, but didn't manage to embed this simple equation into voters minds that Chatham = Higher Fees. They didn't even get that idea through to the Aggie. They will probably lose the environmental constituency in the short term, but this will be partially compensated for in securing the votes of conservatives. But ultimately, they didn't run a good campaign on the ground. Key personnel like Derrick Lennox, Paul Harms, and Jack Zwald simply weren't used or underused — out of the LEAD inner circle, they went off to run a wildly successful No on TGIF campaign. While LEAD's intelligence network is still functioning pretty well — they quickly got word of Greg Webb's discovery that Alex Park had forgotten to run chmod o-rwx, it was only then that LEAD campaigned with the fury they should have to begin with.
It will be interesting to see how the situation will evolve in the future. If LEAD sticks together, they can override any veto or kill any nominee, but too much obstructionism is dangerous. Especially if you don't offer viable alternatives. Still, a 13-vote win is hardly a mandate, especially when the largest policy initiative from said candidate was bloodily euthanized at the polls. ACT is still a joke ("We're an organization, not a slate" lol). Unless Dietrich makes a concerted effort to start another slate to continue the executive's view of student government, LEAD will probably regain dominance in future elections. However, the point of this election has been made, and we've all been reminded that LEAD is not invincible nor infallible. The campaign of a few individuals in LEAD's base to challenge the elections result through petitions and protest has done damage to the perception of LEAD and that of the Association as a whole. There's a proper venue to challenge the results: the ASUCD Court and/or SJA. Remember guys, petitions and protest while not focusing on direct solutions is what makes UCSA suck. So unless they can get some control of their base and return to the apathetic side of the apathy/piñata cycle, LEAD will start losing out in future elections.
My advice to anyone who wants to help their party win in the future: stop whining about pointless things like office hours, and start doing stuff to make student life better. —BrentLaabs