ASRCC election lacks results

Three hundred and twenty three. This is the number of Riverside Community College students who decided who would oversee the Associated Students of RCC’s budget of $558,406. And these few votes may be thrown out. Of these meager votes 197 went to Ashley DiMuccio and Mike Gasca.

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By Vannessa Overbeck & Yvonne England

By Vannessa Overbeck & Yvonne England

Three hundred and twenty three. This is the number of Riverside Community College students who decided who would oversee the Associated Students of RCC’s budget of $558,406. And these few votes may be thrown out.

Of these meager votes 197 went to Ashley DiMuccio and Mike Gasca. The remaining 123 votes went to Aunnie Ganier and Jennifer Dewar. Three student voters chose not to vote for either presidential ticket.

However, RCC students may get another shot at the voting booths because of two grievances filed against the election on April 28. One of the complainants told Viewpoints that the grievance was directed at the rules governing campaigning. The complainant’s identity is protected due to privacy laws. The complainant wanted the rules outlining when and where a candidate could campaign clarified before the election took place, but the issue was never properly addressed or settled.

In a preemptive strike Gasca chose to address the Student Supreme Court about the grievances before they were even reviewed. He presented documentation with conflicting statements about when and where candidates are allowed to campaign.

The Guidelines for Campaigning each candidate received on April 19 reads, “Campaigning is not allowed during voting dates.” But it also reads campaigning is “permitted only during the official campaign period,” which the ASRCC Constitution defines as “the week during the election.”

The Training Video Script presented to candidates on April 25 also states “campaigning is not allowed within fifty feet of the designated voting area.” Gasca said he interpreted this as meaning that he could campaign during the voting days, as long as he remained 50 feet from the voting booths set up in the corner of the A.G. Paul Quadrangle by student government.

“No one knows what things say what, so we run into these problems,” Gasca said.

Presidential opponent Ganier said the rules are unclear and are open to interpretation.

“The rules are fuzzy and you can always find a loophole in writing,” Ganier said.

Doug Graham, the coordinator of Student Activities said his role in this matter is to ensure that the Supreme Court has a clear idea of what it will entail to put its ruling in action.

“The Supreme Court will have to decide whether there was really that much contradiction in what was given out to the candidates to warrant a misunderstanding,” Graham said. He does not believe it was misleading enough to confuse the candidates.

Although the election results didn’t favor Ganier and Dewar, they showed little support for the grievance. Ganier publicly congratulated DiMuccio and Gasca at the May 2 Student Senate meeting. She also introduced them as the President and Vice President of the Riverside Campus. Furthermore, neither Ganier nor Dewar attended the Supreme Court meeting on May 4 when the grievances were to be reviewed and ruled upon. In fact, those who filed the grievance didn’t attend, either. One of the complainants said she was not made aware of the meeting nor had the Student Supreme Court contacted her about her grievance as of May 5.

The Supreme Court delayed ruling upon the grievances until they can speak to those who filed the complaint. According to Graham the Student Supreme Court can decide to do one of three things. They can choose to let the election stand, disqualify Gasca and DiMuccio as they ran together on the same ticket, or hold a re-election.

However, last year’s re-election resulted in over three hundred less votes being cast. That’s nearly as many votes as were cast in this year’s election. Graham said that a re-election is sure to produce lower voter turnout.

“Voter turnout will be less because people think ‘I already voted, why should I vote again?'” Graham said.

Gasca also said that another re-election would do nothing to improve students’ view of student government.

“It reflects poorly on student government that this happened two years in a row. And it increases voter apathy and a lack of confidence,” Gasca said.

Neither Ganier nor one of the complainants wants a re-election. However, they would like to see the campaign guidelines clarified and campaigning allowed on election days.

Gasca does not believe the Supreme Court will choose to subject the students to a re-election as the rules are to blame for the confusion and he and his running mate won with a 40 percent margin. Besides, Gasca said the documentation he presented to the Supreme Court on May 4 removes him from suspicion of any wrongdoing.

“The documentation shows that nothing wrong was done,” Gasca said.The Supreme Court has 10 school days or until May 21 to rule upon the grievances, but it could make its decision as early as May 11 at their next meeting.

laws. The complainant wanted the rules outlining when and where a candidate could campaign clarified before the election took place, but the issue was never properly addressed or settled.

In a preemptive strike Gasca chose to address the Student Supreme Court about the grievances before they were even reviewed. He presented documentation with conflicting statements about when and where candidates are allowed to campaign. The Guidelines for Campaigning each candidate received on April 19 reads, “Campaigning is not allowed during voting dates.” But it also reads campaigning is “permitted only during the official campaign period,” which the ASRCC Constitution defines as “the week during the election.”

The Training Video Script presented to candidates on April 25 also states “campaigning is not allowed within fifty feet of the designated voting area.”

Gasca said he interpreted this as meaning that he could campaign during the voting days, as long as he remained 50 feet from the voting booths set up in the corner of the A.G. Paul Quadrangle by student government.”No one knows what things say what, so we run into these problems,” Gasca said.

Presidential opponent Ganier said the rules are unclear and are open to interpretation.

“The rules are fuzzy and you can always find a loophole in writing,” Ganier said.

Doug Graham, the coordinator of Student Activities said his role in this matter is to ensure that the Supreme Court has a clear idea of what it will entail to put its ruling in action. “The Supreme Court will have to decide whether there was really that much contradiction in what was given out to the candidates to warrant a misunderstanding,” Graham said. He said he does not believe it was misleading enough to confuse the candidates.

Although the election results didn’t favor Ganier and Dewar, they showed little support for the grievance. Ganier publicly congratulated DiMuccio and Gasca at the May 2 Inter-Club council meeting. She also introduced them as the president and vice president of the Riverside Campus. Furthermore, neither Ganier nor Dewar attended the Supreme Court meeting on May 4 when the grievances were to be reviewed and ruled upon. In fact, those who filed the grievance didn’t attend, either. One of the complainants said she was not made aware of the meeting nor had the Student Supreme Court contacted her about her grievance as of May 5.

The Supreme Court delayed ruling upon the grievances until they can speak to those who filed the complaint. According to Graham the Student Supreme Court can decide to do one of three things. They can choose to let the election stand, disqualify Gasca and DiMuccio as they ran together on the same ticket, or hold a re-election.

However, last year’s re-election resulted in more than 300 fewer votes being cast. That’s nearly as many votes as were cast in this year’s election. Graham said that a re-election is sure to produce lower voter turnout.

“Voter turnout will be less because people think ‘I already voted, why should I vote again?'” Graham said.

Gasca also said that another re-election would do nothing to improve students’ view of
student government.

“It reflects poorly on student government that this happened two years in a row. And it increases voter apathy and a lack of confidence,” Gasca said.

Neither Ganier nor one of the complainants wants a re-election. However, they would like to see the campaign guidelines clarified and campaigning allowed on election days.

Gasca does not believe the Supreme Court will choose to subject the students to a re-election as the rules are to blame for the confusion and he and his running mate won with a 40 percent margin. Besides, Gasca said the documentation he presented to the Supreme Court on May 4 removes him from suspicion of any wrongdoing.

“The documentation shows that nothing wrong was done,” Gasca said.On May 11 the grievances were withdrawn and DiMuccio and Gasca were declared the winners of the student election.

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