After election results, grievances pending for two USUSA hopefuls

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Winners for all positions except organizations and campus diversity and student events vice president were announced today at noon in the Taggart Student Center.

Results for those positions will not be announced today because of pending campaign grievances against candidates running for those positions, current executive vice president Ryan Bentall said.

Chelsea Yoshikawa, a finalist for organizations and campus diversity vice president, said she didn’t file the grievance against her competitor, Geraldine De La Mota.

“So I am kind of left out of the loop a little bit,” she said.

As such, she was surprised to hear the results would not be announced today.

“I was just as shocked as most everyone here when I found out they weren’t announcing who was winning because, like I said, I didn’t file it and it’s not against me,” Yoshikawa said.

Since Hearing Board proceedings are required to remain confidential, Joe Aratari said he was unable to comment on the grievance filed against his competitor, Keaton Whitney.

“We don’t want to risk anything,” Aratari said.

Aratai said he didn’t mind waiting longer to find out whether he will be the next student events vice president.

“I have faith and trust in the Aggies and the grievance board, so we’ll see,” he said.

Results for the two positions are already in, but cannot be announced until the Hearing Board’s final decision is made.

Unless students’ minds changed dramatically between primary and final voting, results from the primary election would indicate Yoshikawa — with 1,697 votes compared with De La Mota’s 635 — is the most likely winner for organizations and campus diversity vice president.

However, Aratari was ahead of Whitney by only nine votes in the primary election.

Campaign grievances are dealt with through the student conduct office, which handles all incidents of student misconduct. As such, the office maintains the proceedings should remain confidential.

During the campaign process, the Hearing Board can punish candidates who’ve had grievances filed against them by prohibiting them from campaigning for an allotted time or restricting their campaign materials or budget.

Since the campaign process is over, the only consequences the Hearing Board can levy at this point would be a monetary fine, disqualification or “ordering a new election for a particular office…” according to the 2017 USUSA elections bylaws.

According to the 2017 USUSA elections bylaws, “Elections results for the office(s) in questions will not be made public until all grievances have been heard by the Hearing Board…”

Those results are not expected to be decided until USU’s director of student conduct, Krystin Deschamps, is available. She was out of the office today for a Title IX training.

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@alyssarbrts

Photo by Shanie Howard.

Alison Berg contributed to this report.


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