Student government not following election code
The Associated Students of Solano College (ASSC) student government is holding student elections for president, vice-president, student trustee, and legislative advocate for the 2012-13 academic year.
The ASSC student government did not approve an election calendar until March 20, with the declaration of candidacy forms being available to students on March 28. This violates Article II, section 1 of the ASSC election code, “The Election Committee shall present to the Spring Semester’s Student Senate at least two months before the schedule date for the elections.”
Originally, the period of declaration of candidacy forms were to be available from March 28 – April 6, only eight working days. The ASSC election code calls for ten working days, thus, April 16 and 17 were added at the last minute to comply with this section of the code.
On Thursday, April 5, the student development office was closed all day. The Tempest attempted to request a copy of the declaration of candidacy form and was unable to due to the closure of the student development office.
The code calls for a pre-election meeting to take place for all the candidates so they can be informed of the election rules. California law requires public legislative bodies to publicly post an agenda 72 hours before the beginning of a meeting – no such agenda was posted.
“I honestly didn’t realize we needed one,” said Naser Baig, chair of the 2012 ASSC election committee, in an email. “It never occurred to me to think of the mandatory candidates’ meeting as a “meeting,” governed by the Brown Act. I just thought of it as part of the process. The mistake was mine and mine alone, caused by a misinterpretation of the ASSC Election Code on my part,” Baig said. Baig is also vice president of ASSC.
To make up for this deficiency, the ASSC election committee held a mandatory candidates’ meeting on Sunday, April 22, at the International House of Pancakes in Fairfield. The agenda for this meeting was e-mailed to The Tempest shortly after the conclusion of the meeting.
Only current ASSC student government members are running for office. Current ASSC governing board representative Kayla Salazar is running for student trustee; current ASSC legislative advocate Arturo Castillo and current ASSC treasurer Zackery Sperow are running for president and vice president, respectively. Another member of ASSC student government filed to be a candidate for legislative advocate but he was deemed ineligible for the position.
Currently, the week of Monday, April 23 to Friday, April 27 is campaign week. On Thursday, April 26, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the election committee will be holding a mandatory candidate’s assembly in the 1400 lobby.