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Campaign Violation Accusations/Outcomes

Below are violation accusations to Student Government campaigns that have gone before the Judicial Board of the American University Student Government as well as the outcomes of the hearings:

 

Complainant: Alex Friedman

Respondent: Bryan Paz

Violation being Prosecuted: Article 1, Section iii, subsection 2: Candidates and Campaign Staff shall adhere to all Federal, Local, and University laws and regulations and shall not resort to unprofessional campaigning, including, but not limited to: (iv) Use of official powers or non-sanction Student Government materials on behalf of a campaign.

Classification of Violation:

Article 1, Section iii, Subsection 4: Any breach of Election Ethics is to be considered a Class III Violation.

Class III violations are breaches of Election Ethics, as specified in the AUSG Elections Policy Book.

Description of Violation:

A member of the Paz campaign, Paul Wells, has used his “official powers” of being the Director of Class and School councils to book rooms on 25Live. The event is scheduled for March 24, 2015 at 5:00pm. Proper booking should be done through the Elections Commission. Evidence has been provided showing these requests for rooms in which Wells notes the “event name” as “Bryan Paz for President Info Meeting”. It is the interpretation of the Prosecutor that this is a violation of the above clause. Bryan Paz, as the candidate, assumes “all liability for actions taken on their behalf by Campaign Staff” (Article 1, Section ii, subsection 1).

Outcome of Violation:

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 21st, 2015, I found the Brian Paz Presidential

Campaign to be in violation of Article 1, Section iii, subsection 2 of the Elections Policy

Book. The campaign utilized a 25Live Student Government account to reserve rooms for

Campaign purposes. Despite being an unintentional oversight, this constitutes a Class

III violation of the Elections Policy Book and cannot be taken lightly.

The Bryan Paz Presidential Campaign is hereby suspended for 24 hours until 10:37pm on Saturday, March 21st, 2015.

 


 

Complainant: Logan Billman

Respondent: Jack Fitzpatrick

Violation being Prosecuted:

Article 1, Section iii, subsection 2: Candidates and Campaign Staff shall adhere to all Federal, Local, and University laws and regulations and shall not resort to unprofessional campaigning, including, but not limited to: (iv) Use of official powers or non-sanction Student Government materials on behalf of a campaign.

Classification of Violation:

Article 1, Section iii, Subsection 4: Any breach of Election Ethics is to be considered a Class III Violation.

Description of Violation:

(adapted from Original Complaint; see below)

A witness (Logan Billman) attests to the fact that Jack Fitzpatrick, Monica Patel and Matt Wilson (both declared staff members on Mr. Fitzpatrick’s campaign) were in the Kennedy Political Union office discussing their campaign. Mr. Wilson is a KPU staff member, and thus had access.

The Statement from Mr. Billman (see below) declares that on multiple occasions Ms. Patel, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Fitzpatrick discussed election and campaign strategy in the KPU office. A screenshot (see below) of a conversation that occurred between the parties in question also proves that Ms. Patel was in the office.

Outcome of Violation:

On the afternoon of Monday, March 23rd, 2015, I found the Jack Fitzgerald Vice Presidential

Campaign to be in violation of Article 1, Section iii, Subsection 2 of the Elections Policy Book.

The campaign utilized the Kennedy Political Union office to discuss campaign strategy. Despite

being an unintentional oversight, this constitutes a Class III violation of the Elections Policy

Book and cannot be taken lightly.

The Jack Fitzpatrick Vice Presidential Campaign is hereby suspended for 24 hours until 7:00pm on Monday, March 23rd, 2015.

 


 

Complainant: Various

Respondent: The Martin Slezak Presidential Campaign

Violation(s) being Prosecuted:

Article 1, Section iii, subsection 2: Candidates and Campaign Staff shall adhere to all Federal, Local, and University laws and regulations and shall not resort to unprofessional campaigning, including, but not limited to: (iv) Use of official powers or non-sanction Student Government materials on behalf of a campaign.

Classification of Violation(s):

Article 1, Section iii, Subsection 4: Any breach of Election Ethics is to be considered a Class III Violation.

Description of Violation(s):

(Adapted from Original Complaint(s); see below)

Mr. Slezak reportedly used an Official Mailing list taken from AU records, which potentially violates privacy issues at the University level and at the RHA level, to send an email about him running for SG President under the title of “Resident Spotlight”. While the email is signed ‘Centennial Hall Council,” Mr. Slezak currently serves as the president of that council. In addition to these possible ethics breeches, the email is clearly providing information regarding Mr. Slezak’s campaign. Note, however, that there is no direct call to action or direction, but the material used in the email is being used as official campaign material, which suggests a call to action. Article 4, Section I, subsection 2 of the Policy Book states that “campaigning is defined as: any action taken in coordination with a campaign that suggests an action(s).”

Outcome of Violation:

On the evening of Wednesday, March 25th, 2015, I found the Martin Slezak Presidential

Campaign to be acting in accordance with Article 1, Section iii, Subsection 2 of the Elections

Policy Book.

On March 25th, an monthly newsletter was emailed to all Centennial Hall residents from an

official Centennial Hall email account with the permission of Residence Director, containing a

“Resident Spotlight” profile of Mr. Slezak, a resident of Centennial Hall. Evidence presented

within the hearing confirmed that: 1) the email address centennialhallau@gmail.com is an

official RHA email; 2) said email was approved by the Resident Director; and 3) that Mr. Slezak

did not exert his influence as the Centennial Hall President to distribute his campaign materials

via this newsletter. Furthermore, it has been made clear to me that the organization of the

newsletter in question falls within the responsibility of the Vice President of Programming for

Centennial Hall, not Mr. Slezak. This profile was simply the result of a community of students

recognizing the accomplishments of one of their peers.

The suspension levied by Judicial Order 14.15.07 on the Martin Slezak Presidential

Campaign, is hereby lifted.

 

President Wirth responds to concerns over rollover allocation

In clarification of the current situation regarding the allocation of rollover funds to Student Media Board and AU Club Council:

  • Last spring, Student Activities told former Student Government President Patrick Kelly and former Student Government Comptroller Ben Johnson that $60,000 in rollover money would be available for the Finance Committee to allocate to Media Board and AUCC.
  • Student Activities failed to inform SG that they (SA) would use $38,000 of the original $60,000 to pay off costs from the 2013-2014 budget year that had not yet been processed when the budget year ended on April 30. Therefore, Student Activities only provided $22,000 for the Finance Committee to allocate.
  • Comptroller Abby Dunn is currently compiling all of the costs that came in after April 30 to create a breakdown of where and how the $38,000 was spent. This information will be public as soon as possible.
  • Over the past two weeks, the Finance Committee held meetings with AUCC and Media Board to gain an understanding of where rollover funds would be going. These meetings were not held to tell AUCC and Media Board how to spend their money. They were held to make public where and why the money was originally being allocated.
  • While at first, there was confusion over why these meetings were necessary, it became clear to that they were not meant to regulate or restrict. SG supports all efforts to clarify and make public how student money is being spent, and that is what the Finance Committee was trying to do.
  • Tomorrow night, there will be a public, special meeting to officially allocate the funds to AUCC and Media Board. That way, the process of transferring funds can begin as soon as possible. Plans for this meeting were put into motion as soon as Student Government received the rollover numbers from Student Activities last week.
  • Once Finance Committee has allocated the money, Student Activities will be responsible for transferring the funds.

Student Government, AUCC, and Media Board are entrusted with a significant amount of student money. Conversations about how that money is spent, and by whom, will always be heated. Within these dialogues, however, there should always be an expectation of civility and mutual respect for one another.

 

 

Senate Elects New Speaker

November 9, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Anna Bonomo
Press Secretary
press@ausg.org

WASHIGNTON – The 10th Undergraduate Senate voted today to remove Mike Wang from his position as Speaker of the Undergraduate Senate after a vote of no confidence of 13-11.

The Undergraduate Senate has selected Lars Emerson as the new speaker in a vote of 15-10. Sameer Chintamani also ran for speaker.

Senators Grey Leonard for the class of 2016, and Leo Zausen, Adam White, Ben Johnson, and David Griscom for the class of 2015, who comprise the self-identified Students Unite Now (SUN) caucus, resigned in response to Mr. Wang’s dismissal.

“SUN will continue to advocate for students,” said Mr. Wang. “We will be meeting Tuesday at 8 to continue to pursue our goal of uniting progressive and pro-people students, faculty, and staff.”

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The American University Student Government represents the needs and collective voice of over 6,000 undergraduates. Our mission is to advocate for policies that will tangibly benefit students, offer top-notch programs and lasting traditions, provide services and resources to students, and work with clubs and student leaders to establish a positive cohesion between our groups.

AU It’s On Us: Report & Reccomendations Release

November 6, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Anna Bonomo
Press Secretary
press@ausg.org

MEDIA ADVISORY

The American University Student Government formed a Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Task Force in May of 2014, seeking to research and provide to the American University administration recommendations for ways to target the issues of sexual assault and violence on campus: to raise awareness, prevent future occurrences, and provide survivors with necessary resources. The Task Force brought together members of the entire AU community, including student activists, leaders of the Greek community, members of the student body at-large, as well as faculty and staff representatives.

Collaboration with the White House empowered the Task Force to compile national and University-specific data that will drive the proposals made to the University administration. National attention on the issue of sexual assault through the It’s On Us campaign provided the necessary platform to expand the conversation, and the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault’s first report, Not Alone, was the foundation upon which the AU It’s On Us recommendations are built.

Format of Event: PSA Screening (AU It’s On Us), Speakers, Presentation of Recommendations, Town Hall Discussion

WHO: Speakers: AU Student Body President, Sophia Wirth; Executive Director of the National Campus Leadership Council, Andy MacCracken; TBD
Expected Attendees: 150+ students from Greek Life, Athletics, Clubs, etc., plus key faculty and administrators

WHAT: AU It’s On Us: Report & Recommendations Release

WHERE: Forman Theater, McKinley Building, AU School of Communication

WHEN: Monday, November 10, 6PM – 7:30PM

WHY: Join the conversation about one of the most critical issues on college campuses, and learn about what is being done by campus leaders at AU and around the country to combat it.

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The American University Student Government represents the needs and collective voice of over 6,000 undergraduates. Our mission is to advocate for policies that will tangibly benefit students, offer top-notch programs and lasting traditions, provide services and resources to students, and work with clubs and student leaders to establish a positive cohesion between our groups.

President Sophia Wirth Swears In 10th Undergraduate Senate

October 19,2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Anna Bonomo
Press Secretary
press@ausg.org

WASHINGTON – President Sophia Wirth swore in the 10th Undergraduate Senate today. Mike Wang was elected Speaker.

Mr. Wang was elected by a vote of 15-14 after one tied vote and another vote where no majority was reached. Alex Bradley and Lars Emerson also ran for Speaker. Mr. Bradley dropped out of the race after the first vote.

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The American University Student Government represents the needs and collective voice of over 6,000 undergraduates. Our mission is to advocate for policies that will tangibly benefit students, offer top-notch programs and lasting traditions, provide services and resources to students, and work with clubs and student leaders to establish a positive cohesion between our groups.